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Eco-Merge GCC to Bring Smart, Substantial Development to Central Texas

April 30, 2011

The following opinion article was published in the April 30, 2011, edition of the Bastrop Advertiser, a publication in Bastrop County, Texas, the home of the planned Eco-Merge Green Corporate Centers project, including Central Texas Airport:

The economic transformation of Central Texas over the past 30 years has been remarkable.  From a base of mostly state government, the University of Texas, and farming and ranching, the region has been enhanced by diversification and growth from information technology, including semiconductors, personal computing, software and wireless innovation.

The resulting social and economic effects are unmistakable.  Williamson County, one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, had average household incomes exceeding $69,000 in 2009—nearly 40 percent higher than the U.S. average.  Households in Travis County average more than $53,000, which is above both national and state averages.

Bastrop County, however, has largely missed the region’s evolution into newer industries.  That is why, in part, the same survey showed county household incomes below $44,000—about 10 percent less than the rate for all of Texas.  Why more than 70 percent of Elgin ISD students are from economically disadvantaged families.  And why the county’s high-school graduates must move elsewhere to find jobs with …

Posted by Stephen Carpenter at 03:12 PM | 1 comments
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General Aviation Left Out of Department Of Transportation’s Five-Year Plan

July 07, 2010

GA left out of DOT five-year plan

There is a hole in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) draft five-year plan, says the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). The plan, which covers the period from 2010 to 2015, almost completely ignores general aviation and its economic importance to the nation.

“In its current form the plan places more emphasis on travel by bicycle than on general aviation,” wrote AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller in comments on the draft plan sent to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Furthermore, the plan seems to reintroduce user fees as the preferred way to fund the FAA.

The draft contains six broad goals that cut across all modes of transportation: Safety; State of Good Repair (Airports); Economic Competitiveness; Livable Communities; Environmental Sustainability; and U.S. DOT Organizational Excellence.

“The draft plan seems to almost completely ignore the economic importance of GA as well as the relevance of GA to five of the six strategic goals,” Fuller wrote. “The role of GA with regard to the Safety Goal is the exception, albeit even here the focus on GA is sparse.”

In AOPA’s comments, Fuller notes that on page 19 of the draft plan, the Department …

Posted by Stephen Carpenter at 09:22 AM | Leave a comment
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Bastrop County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Incentives for Airport

June 15, 2010

30 Year Incentive Agreement Signed

Bastrop County commissioners unanimously approved incentives Monday for a proposed $150 million private airport and business complex in the western part of the county. The county would refund 75 percent of county property taxes for the proposed airport over 30 years as part of an agreement with the project’s developer. The airport is far from a done deal — parts of the project still must be approved by the county and federal regulators — but the commissioners’ incentive offer is a significant step. “This was done with the taxpayers’ concerns in front of it,” said Lee Dildy, commissioner of Precinct 4, where the proposed site of the airport is located. “Both sides acted in good faith. I feel very comfortable with this agreement.” Dildy said public money will not be used to build the airport and related improvements. Jim Carpenter, managing partner of Central Texas Airport LLC, the would-be developer of the airport, said, “The Central Texas Airport completes the missing infrastructure asset that was needed for Central Texas.” Carpenter began discussions with the county on the project at least a year ago. He said the airport would help fill a need when an …

Posted by Stephen Carpenter at 12:37 PM | Leave a comment
Filed in: Aviation, Central Texas Airport, News, Technologies Read More

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