Pflugerville sees both perks and pains from growing economy

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PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — A COVID-19 lab has set up shop in Pflugerville, and it’s in the beginning phases of rolling out mobile testing kiosks in Texas.

Curative Inc. is expected to bring in hundreds of jobs to Pflugerville.

The company plans to set up drive-thru, kiosk and mobile vans across Texas to provide the self-administered COVID-19 tests. The samples will then be sent to the testing laboratory in Pflugerville located at 1700 Royston Lane.

Curative Inc. laboratory located on Royston Lane

While at a drive-thru, kiosk or mobile van, individuals are instructed to cough three times and then run a swab on the inside of their cheeks for 20 seconds. Once complete, the patient seals their sample and deposits it into a container.

The new process was developed by the company as an alternative to nasal or nasopharyngeal swab testing for COVID-19 and emphasizes fast turnaround times of 24-48 hours, according to company officials. 

“The reason we chose Pflugerville is because it has a great workforce. We’re looking to hire 150 laboratory staff,” said Miranda Gottlieb, VP of Marketing.

The facility is among several big businesses spurring Pflugerville’s economic growth. Council Member Rudy Metayer says that’s what makes it so attractive for people to move to town. City Council also recently voted to reduce the property tax rate.

“When you’re able to increase the tax base by increasing business, you become less reliant on resident property taxes,” said Metayer. “By reducing the tax rate, you don’t have that burden on the residents.”

That may not be the end of the tax discussion in Pflugerville though, with demands for the city to provide more services to meet the growth.

“We have done a lot for less for many years,” said President of Pflugerville’s Professional Firefighters Josh Stubblefield. “When you don’t have the proper funding, then you start to lack apparatus, staff and even stations. The community is growing so fast that the demand for our service continues to grow.”

Stubblefield says at this rate, his district won’t be able to keep up. Emergency Service District #2 handles EMS and Fire Protection for Pflugerville.

“What really made difference is in 2017, we took on EMS transport within our district. Austin EMS took their units out,” said Stubblefield. “That’s really the big issue, because that has never been fully funded.”

In Pflugerville, they’ve maxed our the current ESD tax of 10 cents per $100 of property value.

“What we are asking to do is a EMS tax overlay. The ESD we have now will cover fire protection, and the new ESD will cover EMS.”

Pflugerville residents may see a petition to back this new ESD, which is a push to get more support before City Council decides. If council agrees on the proposal, then it would go on the May 2021 election ballot.

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