Commissioners court gives update on North Overton development, potential problems at juvenile justice center and donation to arts festival

Commissioners court gives update on North Overton development, potential problems at juvenile justice center and donation to arts festival
The Lubbock County Commissioners Court met for a regular meeting on March 11.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Commissioner’s Court convened for its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Monday inside of the Lubbock County Courthouse with talks of audits, money allocation and an update on projects with various entities.

The main take away from the meeting was a discussion led by Cheryl Brock with the City of Lubbock on Tax Increment Financing, a method that has been used for redevelopment in Lubbock for the North Overton area, Central Business District and Lubbock Business Park. Brock spent much of her time going over the success in redeveloping the Overton area since 2002.

During Brock’s presentation she pointed out the taxable value in the North Overton has risen from more than $26 million in 2002 to more than $500 million at the end of September 2018.

Other development areas such as the Lubbock Business Park and the Central Business District are also on track for success, and have increased in taxable values. All three areas have 30-40 years before the finance investment is fully paid off, she said.

The commissioners also discussed some potential problems regarding the Juvenile Justice Center facility at 2025 North Akron Ave. After an audit measure was passed, County Judge Curtis Parrish said he is slightly alarmed at talks from the state legislature that call for shutting down the Gainesville State School in North Texas.

The Houston Chronicle has reported some state lawmakers have filed a budget amendment that would force the facility’s closure because of ongoing violence within, sexual relations between guards and inmates, and a slew of other internal issues.

Parrish said although there are lots of issues reported from the facility, closing it down would mean moving its inmates to other facilities like the one in Lubbock. He said doing that would mean expanding current facilities, which means associated costs would land on the Lubbock County voters.

On a lighter note, the court approved a $10,000 contribution to the Lubbock Arts Festival, which is scheduled to take place from April 12-14. County Commissioner Gilbert Flores said in the past he has seen the amount given only go as high as $7,000.

The money given to the Lubbock Arts Alliance for the festival is an annual contribution -- one of many from various entities around the area.

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