Election results for MDD vote

Lead Staff Reporter

In the special municipal election results, The City of Sweetwater has released results of the Municipal Development District (MDD) election. They are as follows: votes for MDD: 420 or 73 per cent of the voting public, The votes against MDD came in at 155 or 27 per cent out of a total of 575 votes.
Moving forward, a MDD Board of Directors will be created with an election for candidates on May 5. One may ask why change the focus of economic development now and not keep SEED. SEED has an excellent track record on developing and implementing Type A projects. The answer is that while the creation of industrial and manufacturing jobs should remain a priority with a new MDD, job creation is only one aspect of community economic development. There is a growing trend for people to work in Sweetwater but live elsewhere. This suggests that not only is Sweetwater not reaping the full benefit of its economic development dollars but also that the community may have unaddressed issues that prompt people to work in Sweetwater but live elsewhere. The most frequently suggested reason is good, affordable, single family housing. Hence, the housing study that was undertaken a few months ago.
Clearly if someone relocates to work in Sweetwater and can’t find suitable housing they have no choice but to live somewhere else. This is potential lost revenue in the end. But even if suitable housing were available, they may opt to live elsewhere because of perceived deficiencies in retail, dining and recreational opportunities. These absent households contribute nothing to local school enrollment, local hospital usage, retail sales, sales tax or property tax collection. In these cases, much of the economic benefit of local job creation historically goes to other communities.
A MDD offers the opportunity to address all these issues. Also, addressing these community deficiencies, instead of detracting from the ability to attract Type A projects, could enhance prospects for Type A economic development.