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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Monday, August 1, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano
Some readers may recall the tale of Winnebago Lane. That very convoluted, ultimately thwarted real estate transaction was designed to support the city’s [re]Manufacturing Hub. Well, according to a memo sent out by Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert and Economic Development Director Kevin Johns, the funding for the much-touted hub remains up in the air. At the moment, the city is working out the details of a public-private partnership development. As for the federal grant that was awarded in 2014, that was returned after the sale of 4711 Winnebago Lane, which would have raised the required matching funds, didn’t go as planned. And a plan to use the funds to finance a different part of the project – a wastewater line – didn’t work out, either. As the memo notes, “As you know, the City planned to use the grant to partially fund development of on-site infrastructure at the Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub. However, as it played out, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) lacked the funds for the required matching share for the grant or the means to obtain funds prior to EDA deadlines. This occurred due to: the unforeseen (at the time of grant application) inability to use Certificates of Obligation for this project, the decision not to sell ARR’s surplus property at 4711 Winnebago Lane and use those funds for matching the grant, and the decision to not raise rates to fund the project.”
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