GATESVILLE — The Coryell County Economic Development board on Monday voted to hire Angelou Economics, an Austin-based consulting firm, to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy for Coryell County at a cost of $65,000 over the next two years.
The board’s current budget of $35,000 will cover the first $30,000 of the $60,000 project plus $5,000 in administrative costs. The $30,000 for the second phase must come from the Coryell County commissioners court, which will develop the fiscal year 2015 budget this summer.
The board postponed making its pitch to the commissioners on the Angelou project to consider the services offered by the Center for Innovation, an Arlington-based nonprofit organization.
Angelou Economics, whose clients include the cities of Belton and Cameron, proposed a four-step process to create an economic development strategy for Coryell County. The steps are stakeholder engagement, market assessment, target industry analysis and an action plan.
The Center for Innovation, whose clients include a private economic development council in Glen Rose, helps connect communities with high-tech industries that use U.S. government patents.
The center’s fee is $25,000 a year.
Board member Eric Keitzer, who recommended Angelou Economics, said using the Austin company over six to eight years would cost the county about $90,000. Services from the Center for Innovation over the same period would cost from $150,000 to $200,000.
The Center for Innovation work would not include development of a strategic plan, which would be included in the Angelou project, Keitzer said.