New EDC director gives updates

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by A.C. Hall

With the promotion of Economic Development Director Jim Ryan to City Manager in December, it wasn’t clear who was going to take over his old position as head of the city’s EDC.  Last Tuesday that question was answered as building official Kyle Reeves took over as EDC Director at the monthly EDC meeting.  

Reeves gave a brief update on businesses in the city, informing the EDC board that the three suite building on Jim Wright Freeway has been completed.  This building was constructed by Gene Thompson, and Reeves said that there’s already one tenant coming into the building.

Other business news included work starting on a new hotel in the city as well as the continued progress of the storage company that has taken over the red iron building behind Wells Fargo.

Land Donation

The only item of new business before the EDC was the pending donation of land from Lake Hollow Corporation.  This 4.9 acres of land is in the Sunview Addition of the city and borders Central Park.  One board member questioned what would be done with the land if the donation was accepted.

“This I believe would be a good tool for the city to use to possibly bring some businesses in,” Reeves said.

That answer was expanded upon later as outgoing Mayor Jerry Burns discussed the issue with Reeves.

“So you foresee it being park property?” Burns asked, receiving a confirmation from Reeves.  “Moving a park here and selling a park somewhere else?”

“That’s correct,” Reeves stated.  A motion was made to accept the land donation.  That motion passed unanimously.

This item was addressed later that evening by the City Council as the donation came before them for approval.  Some on the council spoke about the need for the property to be cleaned up prior to it being donated to the city.  Descriptions of the land given pointed to many large rocks and boulders on the property.

“We are getting that taken care of,” Reeves told the council.

A representative of the company donating the land was on hand at the council meeting and spoke, saying some of the large rocks on the property might be of use to the city.  With council members appearing to still prefer the area be completely cleaned up, the representative assured them it would get done prior to the donation.

Other EDC reports

Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp gave his monthly report to the EDC.  Tharp said the Christmas tree roundup event resulted in 230 trees being collected by the city.  These trees were turned into mulch that is made available for free to residents.

Tharp also spoke about sports tournaments coming to Central Park.

“It’s going to be a busy spring,” Tharp said.

There are currently twelve tournaments scheduled to take place at Central Park during the spring.

Finance Director Phil Bray gave a financial report to the EDC and spoke about the continuing upwards trend of sales tax in the city.  Bray stated that the most recent sales tax numbers are coming in eight to ten percent above last year.