The recovery from Hurricane Harvey is winding down. So, how does our post hurricane economy look? Many millions in FEMA recovery dollars are now invested in our community. The new $1.7 mil state-of-the-art water tower is just one example. The $2 mil bulkhead repair is another. There are many more. Even during the Pandemic, the sales tax continued to not only perform well but it has set new records. The sales tax is a good indicator of the City’s economic health. The ad valorem tax is our major source of revenue. Property valuations are regaining their post-Harvey dip, caused by damaged or destroyed businesses, apartments and homes. In our most recent audit, the General Fund Balance is even higher than last year. Another good indicator.
A strong measurement of a city’s economic outlook is the number of utility connections. Is it increasing or decreasing? The number of water customers has dramatically rebounded and surpassed pre-Harvey numbers. See full story in this newsletter.
A city does not grow economically until it has houses. New homes are being built in subdivisions. In-fill homes are being built to replace many of those destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Harvey. All of the apartment complexes shut down by Harvey are now open. An attractive apartment complex opened on Wheeler.
Hotels have been built and are under construction. A new Motel 6 at the City’s entrance now is being built. The new Candlewood Suites have renovated and are now open. The City first multiplex movie theater has survived COVID and is showing first run shows. It is attracting movie goers from throughout the region. A Starbucks is under construction. Harbor Freight, a major national hardware retailer, will be renovating and moving into the former Bealls store located on Wheeler. This business should be a major sales tax producer for Aransas Pass.
In sum, the economic outlook for Aransas Pass is very bright.