Sweetwater voters approve structure to expand economic development in two-part election
SWEETWATER, Texas - Sweetwater residents Tuesday night brought the city one step closer to more freedom when it comes to what projects it can fund. In a 420-to-155 vote, residents approved the creation of a municipal development district, which would allow more funding for the city to work on projects like parks, splash pads, walking trails and the proposed $9.1 million sports complex. To become a municipal development district, the city must discontinue its economic development structure, which focuses mainly on infrastructure. It is funded through the city's sales tax. Sweetwater City Manager David Vela says the city had worked under an economic development corporation structure since the early 1990s. However, there's more that must be done before the city can act on the newly approved MDD. While the MDD has been approved by citizens, the allocation of funds for it has not. Vela tells KTXS the second part of the vote will decide whether the EDC shouldn't be funded, moving the sales tax funds to the MDD. In October, the city of Sweetwater introduced a 10-year Parks Master Plan, which is expected to bring new facilities and upgrades to existing parks. Vela says the MDD would be a great help to this new plan. The election to decide whether sales tax will fund the MDD will take place in May 2018.