Developers, businesses in discussion with city

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by A.C. Hall

EDC Director Kyle Reeves began the monthly Economic Development Corporation meeting by talking about new businesses that are opening along White Settlement Road and Cherry Lane.  Reeves also referenced ongoing discussions with many other potential businesses, business growth and White Settlement’s overall economic health.
“Discussions are continuing with developers and businesses,” Reeves said.
He stated that these potential new businesses are made up of many different types, from fast food restaurants to heavy industrial clients.
“We have quite a range right now,” Reeves said.
He also informed the EDC that there is now interest in the long empty Taco Bell restaurant spot on Cherry Lane and that there is a new donut shop coming to town.
In addition to all the commercial projects, Reeves also said there has been a lot of interest from residential developers as well.  He said many houses are already being built in the city and there is interest in building more.  Reeves also addressed a question about the apartment complex coming soon to Dale Lane.  He indicated that the interior of the apartments are going to be very nice.
“It’s a very good project,” Reeves said.
Next to address the EDC was Financial Director Phil Bray.  He began his report by addressing the long in decline sales tax numbers, telling the board that sales tax is down about twenty six percent from last year.  Mayor Ronald A. White asked Bray if there were any positive financial trends happening.
“My crystal ball is pretty foggy,” Bray joked.
As he addressed the question, Bray stated that the price of oil per barrel is going up and that there are indications that the overall economy is still strong.
“We’re definitely impacted here by the downturn in our sales tax revenue which is directly related to the oil and gas industry,” Bray said.  “We’re fortunate to live in Texas where the economy as a whole is good, and we really hope that we’re kind of at the low point and things are looking up.  But how long it will take to get back to where we were, who knows?”

Veterans Park concessions
contract awarded
Following up on an item from last month, the EDC considered choosing a new vendor to handle concessions at Veterans Park.  Of the five companies approached, two put in bids.  Bidders are required to tell the city what percentage of money they will give to the City.  The current vendor offered to keep that percentage at twenty five percent.  However, the second bidder offered a forty percent cut to the city.  This second bidder was present at the meeting and informed the EDC that they own and operate one of the sno cone stands in the city.
The board spoke with the second bidder, asking if they would be able to make a profit while giving forty percent of the money to the city.  They indicated that they could and that it would allow them to make some money while also helping the city.
A motion was made to award the two-year concessions contract at Veterans Park to this bidder.  That motion passed unanimously.