Aggie Research Center (formerly, Mace Ranch Innovation Center) on Tuesday’s Council Consent Calendar
Location of proposed ARC, with sunflowers and corn. Picture taken by R. Millstein 9/2019
By Roberta Millstein
Back in June, I noted that developers had asked the City to resume processing their application for a massive ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside of (i.e., to the east of) the Mace Curve. Things were mostly quiet over the summer. Now, with a pair of items on the Tuesday City Council Consent Calendar, the City is moving forward on this application before the project has even been presented publicly.
The Council agenda notes, “All matters listed under the Consent Calendar are considered routine and non-controversial, require no discussion and are expected to have unanimous Council support and may be enacted by the Council in one motion in the form listed below” (emphasis added).
Item A on the Calendar concerning the so-called “Aggie Research Center” (or ARC; formerly Mace Ranch Innovation Center, or MRIC) authorizes “the City Manager to enter into a contract with Economic and Planning Services (EPS) to prepare an updated study of the market demand assumptions, the economic impact analysis, the fiscal impact analysis, and the financial feasibility analysis and public financing evaluation for the Aggie Research Campus.” Item E on the Calendar appoints a City Council subcommittee for the project (Partida/Carson).
Yet ARC proposal has not been presented to City (at least not publicly), its Commissions, or its citizens. The ARC proposal has been modified from the previous one – which was also not fully vetted (see link at the beginning of this article). Why is the City planning on moving forward with the proposal without discussion and public input?