by A.C. Hall
In a brief December meeting, Economic Development Director Jim Ryan gave an update on some businesses in the area. Ryan touched upon the new research and development center at Weir SPM and also mentioned that the old car wash on Cherry Lane across from the middle school is now the new home to Dan Brown tax service. Also mentioned is a new three suite commercial building that is nearing completion on Jim Wright Freeway next to the Gene Thompson and associates office.
Hotels were a big part of the report as Ryan announced that the hotel next to Flight Deck is now open for business. The hotel’s developer, Mr. Patel, already has another hotel under construction in White Settlement. Ryan also stated that construction plans have been approved for Patel to bring yet another hotel to the city, this one near Veterans Park.
Later in the evening, Patel’s wife was on hand to receive a $275,000 check from the EDC. This was part of a financial assistance agreement between the EDC and Patel for his recently completed hotel.
“We thank you very much for bringing your business to town,” Ryan said before the check was presented.
Earlier in the meeting, Ryan spoke about a recent conference where the city made a lot of contacts with retailers. The city was assisted at the conference by The Retail Coach, the firm hired to assist with bringing businesses to the city. “We have some good things coming next year, we’re just on the edge of being able to jump off into the big time,” Ryan said.
City Manager Linda Ryan gave the EDC a financial report and had encouraging words to share about the sales tax.
“The sales tax for the last two months has been up,” Ryan said.
She reminded the EDC that sales tax revenues ended up higher then projected last year and that they’re hoping it’s a trend that continues.
“Moving forward we’re hoping that things get better and so far so good,” Ryan said.
Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp gave an update on upcoming events. A Christmas tree roundup is planned for the end of the year. On Dec. 29, Dec. 31, Jan. 2, Jan. 5, and Jan. 7, non-artificial trees placed by the curb will be picked up and turned into mulch. The mulch will then be made available at no cost.
A musical theater class for boys and girls age 8 and older is still accepting new students. Tuition for the class is $50 and will see kids learning acting and singing skills. Anyone interested can call 817-246-5012 for more information.