By A.C. Hall
The White Settlement Economic Development Corporation presented a BIG Grant check to the new business Flight Deck. Now open in the old Big Lots location off Cherry Lane, this trampoline park was brought to town by George Curry. EDC Executive Director Jim Ryan introduced Curry and said he’s brought several businesses to town.
Curry addressed Flight Deck, saying when he heard about its search for a location he thought of the Big Lots building.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with White Settlement,” Curry said, saying the City has been good to work with.
The number of admissions over the first three days was estimated by Curry to be between 1300 and 1500, and their estimate for the first year are much higher than that.
“If we don’t hit 100,000 admissions over the next twelve months I’ll be disappointed,” Curry said.
On the agenda was to take the Flight Deck through the entire BIG Grant process. The EDC Business Improvement Grants are offered as a possibility for businesses to receive some money back on improvements they make to their businesses. Ryan gave the numbers on Flight Deck’s improvements, saying the $71,000 spent on exterior improvements qualifies them for the max exterior amount of $5,000 from the BIG Grant, while the functional improvements of $1.35 million qualifies them for the max functional amount of $30,000. That qualifies Flight Deck for the maximum grant amount of $35,000.
The EDC unanimously approved Flight Deck’s application, then unanimously approved payment of the BIG grant. Mayor Jerry Burns presented the check to Curry.
“Congratulations, we hope you have many good years,” Mayor Burns said.
Ryan went on to give the EDC a brief report on other things going on around the city. He said the Best Western Elite hotel that will be built near IHOP on Cherry Lane has purchased property and submitted plans. Ryan said the builder hopes to bring in a restaurant on the same property as well.
Other items mentioned in the report included progress on the old Sam’s Building as it becomes the Region 11 Educational services facility, the Seattle’s Best coffee that will be built near the Sam’s on Alta Mere has received permits, and the lots on Martha Jean owned by EDC have been sold to a local business man.
City Manager Linda Ryan gave the EDC financial report. She gave an update of the Central Park project, saying that there is still some repair work needing to be done by Heartland. The sales tax numbers were also highlighted.
“It’s not as good as last year but it is picking up,” Ryan said. Ryan said if things hold steady, they should reach $1.2 million in sales tax revenue. EDC Executive Director Jim Ryan shared some information about the sales tax. “If you’ll recall, last year was about forty-five percent above the year before, so we’re just leveling out,” Jim Ryan said.
Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp gave a rundown of upcoming events. Tharp said the Rec Center is offering swim lessons this summer for children ages three and up. The YMCA summer day camp program starts on June 10, and the popular Movies in the Park will begin on June 7 at the Central Park amphitheater with a free showing of Annie.