ARGYLE — More than $4 million in sewer system improvements are needed before the town of Argyle will begin to see heavy commercial development along its major intersections and corridors, officials say.
Today, Argyle does not have the infrastructure or funds needed to support such development and much of its growth will rely on when the town can find the revenue needed to install the necessary services.
Town officials identified at least three sections of the town that will require some improvements along its sewer system where dense development is expected to grow.
Town officials agreed that areas needing the most sewer additions lie along the town’s major intersections and roadways, such as Interstate 35W, Crawford Road, FM407 and U.S. Highway 377.
It is also identified as an area of growth in the town’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan.
“That’s where developers are going to go because developers love major interstates and intersections,” said Richard Luedke, community services director.
The Argyle Town Council, the Economic Development Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission discussed future plans and development during a joint meeting this week. Some said the town’s sewer system is its biggest weakness.
During the same meeting, the town approved the hiring of Charles West, the new town manager, who town officials said will play a big role in helping Argyle reach its development goals.
One major hurdle for the town is locating the means to fund the construction of the infrastructure needed to attract developers.
Mayor Matt Smith said he’s eager to get development rolling, but he said he understands the need to have patience because Argyle is a few years away from where he wants it to be.
Luedke said developers would never commit to developing a business in a town that does not have the systems in place to sustain a business or attract new businesses.
The city will need to shoulder some of the cost first, Luedke said.
“But developers will bring more development and services, easing future costs,” he said.
The biggest obstacle for the town is the $4 million price tag for the needed improvements. The town’s lean budget and nearly $1 million in reserved funds does not leave much room for investment.
Officials declined to give specifics on how they would potentially fund the sewer system improvements, saying that indentifying funding is the trickiest part.
Town officials estimate the commercial development they are hoping for will arrive in about five to eight years, but that will largely rely on whether or not the additions to the sewer systems are made.
Official will have a meeting in December to discuss ways to fund the estimated $4 million project.
Luedke said there won’t be any easy decisions, and there is no doubt it will be expensive.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.