Lumberton’s Municipal Utility District Board adopted a proposed plan for improvements and taxation in the defined area of the Brampton-Essential development.
The approved plan is to provide water, sewer, and drainage for a new development on 1,500 acres of the defined area on Hwy 421.
“Our piece of the puzzle is strictly water and sewer,” Board President Nick Carter said.
It was a packed house on Monday evening as citizens expressed concern over potential flooding caused by drainage of the development.
“This is merely the first step,” Carter said, noting the permitting process goes through the county and the city.
Several speakers questioned the district’s responsibility to residential drainage downstream.
“Don’t just study what you’re doing right there; study where it’s going,” one resident said of the plan.
Citizens wanted their disaffection with the ill-defined impacts of the drainage impacts that the new development would bring on the record.
“This whole construction affects all of us, we can’t help but worry about the drainage,” resident Stacie Swearingen said.
After Harvey, the floodplain of the district changed, leaving residents uncertain about the future of developmental impacts.
Monday’s meeting did little appease residents of the impact.
Brampton-Essentials Patrick Hoffman stated the complex issues regarding drainage are covered by several different entities.
“This is a 30- to 40-year project; we aren’t going to make anything worse,” he said.
The development will require wetlands mitigation and compliance with federal environmental reviews.
A plan to control downstream drainage; he said: “will make green space and retention ponds the aesthetic features of neighborhoods.”
Funding for the development will be underwritten by Brampton Essentials.
Bond estimates of water, sewer, and drainage construction costs are $226 million with estimates of pavement infrastructure costs at $225 million in two separate debts.
“The bonds can’t be issued until there is a tax base to support them,” Hoffman said.
That means the development of homes, including commercial and industrial outlets, roads, and drainage systems, have to be on-the-ground.
“We pay upfront,” he said.
Residents of the newly constructed development would pay a higher tax rate to repay the bonds.
Hoffman says Bampton-Essentials purchased more than 3,000 acres of land in Hardin County in 2016 and began the process to develop the property at that time.
Projected home construction is estimated to commence in 2021 producing as many as 70 homes by the tax year 2029.
The Board passed approval of the proposed plan for the Brampton-Essential Defined Area unanimously.