New animal shelter, 377 updates heard from Benbrook Council

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During the meeting council members adopted an update of Section 17 of the Capital Improvement Program of the Comprehensive Plan. The Capital Improvements Plan is a forecast and schedule of public improvements for the next five years and beyond.   Continue reading “New animal shelter, 377 updates heard from Benbrook Council”

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Benbrook plans projects for next several years, sees updates

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by A.C. Hall

At their February meeting the Benbrook City Council considered an annual update to the capital improvements program section of their comprehensive plan.  This is done yearly and gives the City a plan on the projects they will focus on in the near future.
An overview of the projects that have been completed in the current comprehensive plan was given.  These included road extensions, alley system construction, and erosion projects.  One project from the current comprehensive plan that is still ongoing is the overhaul of Benbrook Boulevard/377. Continue reading “Benbrook plans projects for next several years, sees updates”

New retail building coming to Benbrook

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by A.C. Hall

On Jan. 19 the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation closed on a property sale with Steve Hawkins Construction and Development.  This one million dollar transaction is part of a deal between the BEDC and the developer to bring retail attractions to the 2 acre site that sits alongside Starbucks and Waffle House at 8501 Benbrook Boulevard.   Continue reading “New retail building coming to Benbrook”

Community garden, new bike trail coming to Benbrook

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by A.C. Hall

Benbrook residents looking to grow their own food might soon have a place to do so in Dutch Branch Park as the council unanimously passed a resolution creating the Benbrook Community Garden.  Brought forward by a group of local garden enthusiasts, the community garden has been given funding not to exceed $30,000 and is targeting park land behind the YMCA for construction.   Continue reading “Community garden, new bike trail coming to Benbrook”

Benbrook Boulevard campaign

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By A.C. Hall

The Benbrook City Council got a look at the “building a better Benbrook Boulevard” campaign this month as Lydia Rickard of L Comm Marketing and Public Relations gave them a presentation.  Started by the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation several months ago, this campaign seeks to keep citizens and businesses in and around Benbrook well informed and up to date on things as the two year Benbrook Boulevard/377 expansion begins later this year.   Continue reading “Benbrook Boulevard campaign”

Benbrook prepares community for road expansion

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The City of Benbrook will soon begin an expansion of Benbrook Boulevard, the stretch of Highway 377 spanning from Winscott/Lakeway north to the IH20/Loop 820 junction. The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT) project is scheduled to begin shortly after the New Year (2013) and will include the addition of a median and turn lane signals across the approximately 1.3 miles of highway. Continue reading “Benbrook prepares community for road expansion”

Benbrook EDC discusses grocery stores and city logo

By A.C. Hall

 

The Benbrook EDC held their election of officers before diving into their agenda at their meeting last week.  Kent Williams was voted as EDC President, while Dwayne Hitt was voted as the Vice President.  Members voted Janet Collard as Secretary.

With the officers in place, several discussions were held, one concerning the recent loss of multiple grocery stores in Benbrook.  Some board members had expressed concern over the closing of Albertsons and more recently Brookshire’s, and EDC Executive Director Ron Rainey addressed their concerns.  Continue reading “Benbrook EDC discusses grocery stores and city logo”

Benbrook discusses Hwy. 377 expansion

At their meeting last week, the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation discussed a number of items, chief among them the impending expansion of 377.  The possibility of retaining a public relations firm to assist in business retention during the 377 expansion was the subject of their discussion.  This is something that some members of the EDC brought up at the June meeting and has since been further investigated by city staff.

EDC Executive Director Ron Rainey summarized some of the thoughts that were brought up at that June meeting.

“Get ahead of the curve and to work with our local businesses to let them know what projects are going to be taking place as we widen and improve 377, but also how we might encourage them to work with their customers to encourage them to keep shopping in Benbrook, take that extra two minutes to shop here instead of bypassing us to go to Fort Worth or neighboring towns,” Rainey said.

Following up on that direction, staff got into contact with a firm called L COMM Marketing.  The president of that company, Lydia Rickard, was on hand at the meeting and addressed the EDC.

Rickard gave the board a rundown of her qualifications, listing clients her company has worked with like General Motors, Texas Wesleyan Law University, and the TCU football program.

One tactic Rickard said they’d likely implement if working with Benbrook is to set up public forums targeted at businesses along 377.  Other possible ways discussed of keeping people informed about the 377 expansion were a website, direct mailers, and a newsletter.

Rickard said her company would conduct research so they can understand how to relate to Benbrook consumers who may be tempted not to shop along 377 due to the construction.

“What’s going to make them stop here along 377 to use the same business they’ve been using?” Rickard asked.

For the first year of these and other services such as design work, L COMM Marketing would charge a little over $69,000.  Moving into a second year, the cost would lower and become a little over $56,000.

Board member David Hafer suggested giving businesses along 377 a chance to come up with coupons or other incentives to encourage people to keep shopping there during the construction.

“I’m very pleased with what Mrs. Rickard has done so far,” Hafer said.  “I believe that this is the direction we need to be going.”

Hafer than suggested that bringing on a public relations firm should be added as an action item for their next meeting.

Board member Dwayne Hitt agreed that it was a good presentation, and spoke about the businesses along 377.

“I think it’s going to be important for us as a board to look for opportunities to help these people out,” Hitt said.

Hitt said they could possibly even look at helping the businesses economically, with things like temporary signage or other general concessions or assistance mentioned as options.

Since this was not an action item, there were no motions made on this matter.  From the comments made by board members, it does appear that this is something they’ll pursue further at their August meeting.