Dayton City Council approves creation of reinvestment zone

The blue dots on this Google map show the boundaries of a future industrial park by Rail Logix in Dayton. The property is located on SH 146 just north of the Liberty-Chambers county line.

By Vanesa Brashier,

Dayton City Council on Monday, Sept. 16, approved the creation of Reinvestment Zone #5, a segment that includes a 300-acre tract on SH 146 South near the Liberty-Chambers county line under development by Rail Logix for a future industrial park.

Dayton is in talks to offer a tax abatement to Rail Logix, and the creation of the reinvestment zone is the first step in that process, explained City Manager Theo Melancon.

“If you are going to offer tax abatements, then you first have to designate the area as a reinvestment zone. Unlike a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), there is no increment from collected taxes that goes to a TIRZ board, which redivvies up the funds through negotiation,” Melancon said. “In this situation, you create a reinvestment zone before the city council can decide on tax abatements.”

According to Melancon, Rail Logix’s project in Dayton will be a logistics center in the petrochemical industry, warehousing rail cars for the Port of Houston. The jobs created will be “good, living wage jobs,” he added.

“They are hoping to build up to 2.4 million square feet of warehousing. Between Rail Logix and Gulf Inland Logistics Park, we are looking at a little over 1,300 acres of industrial development in Dayton over the next several years,” he said.

The 300-acre tract for Rail Logix’s industrial park is in a prime location, Melancon said, as it has access to a Union Pacific rail line and is close to the I-10 corridor and the future Grand Parkway. Currently municipal water and sewer services are not available on the property. Melancon said the developer and City are partnering on service provisions, which could include the creation of an improvement district.

“They are eager to get dirt turned relatively quickly, so much so that they are going to build their first couple of buildings without city utilities. They are building with a water well and septic system in place and can retrofit the systems later,” Melancon said.

The next step is approval and finalization of a tax abatement agreement between Rail Logix and the City of Dayton. An agreement would have to be approved by City Council. Melancon expects Council’s vote on the tax abatement will take place in November with work on the project beginning immediately thereafter.

“Dirt will be turning next year significantly on that property,” he said. “The Texas economic boom that we’ve been hearing about is coming to us. We have been working on and negotiating projects for a long time, and now it’s our turn.”

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