New businesses open as sales tax continues to falter

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by A.C. Hall

While the sales tax revenue news hasn’t brightened, there was encouraging news shared at last week’s White Settlement Economic Development Corporation meeting.  EDC Director Kyle Reeves listed many businesses and establishments that have come to town in recent months.
These included the First Church of Fort Worth, an investment company, Freedom Church, a used furniture store, Smoothie King, G2 Garage, Michael’s PC repair, and a fire alarm installation company.  Reeves said he continues to have conversations with interested builders and developers and has been showing many of them available spaces around town.
In addition to these, Reeves also said they’re seeing a lot of interest in another type of development.
“The past couple of months we’ve had a lot of interest in residential development,” Reeves said.
He went on to say that this residential development interest is for both single lot home building as well as multi lot neighborhoods.  Reeves closed out his report by saying there’s also strong interest in one of the EDC owned properties and he expects to be bringing that deal to the EDC soon.

Mayor Ronald A. White asked Reeves how much they’ve been getting out of contacts from last years Las Vegas retail convention that Reeves and a few others attended.  Reeves informed the Mayor that many of the recent conversations he’s been having with developers and builders can be traced back to the Vegas and Dallas retail conventions that the City participated in.
Finance Director Phil Bray gave a brief report on the sales tax revenues, saying they continue to come in below expectations.
“Sales tax receipts are running about thirty percent below last year,” Bray said.  “We budgeted about twenty five percent below last year but sales tax receipts just aren’t coming in quite as well as we anticipated.”
Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp presented this item to the EDC as they prepare to go out for bid for a 2016 concession contract for the concessions at Veteran’s Park.  The one major change to this year’s contract relates to the items the concession vendor must provide at all times.  Tharp explained that they now look at non-tournament events differently than tournament events and change the required food items depending on what’s happening at the park.  He stated this will lessen the amount of time the vendor has to use the fryer and the grill, especially during less busy events.  Previous contracts required grill and fryer items to be available at all events.
“It’s kind of silly to require them to do it if nobody’s historically buying anything that’s fried or needs to be cooked on the grill,” Tharp said.
During busier events like tournaments the new vendor will be required to offer fried and grilled options like burgers and chicken strips.  The contract is a one year agreement with an option to extend to a second year.
The EDC unanimously approved the new concession contract.  Tharp stated he will bring it back before them soon with bids from some possible vendors.  The EDC will choose a vendor at that time.
Tharp also informed the EDC that the two recycling dumpsters normally located in the Senior Center parking lot have been relocated to a City facility at 8212 Albert Street.  Mayor White asked if there are plans to add more dumpsters or stick with two.  Tharp stated that two usually seems enough to handle the load and that the only time they’ve been overfilled was during the holidays.
“We’ll monitor that,” Tharp said.