• July 22, 2014

County economic development board considers consultants

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Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — The Coryell County Economic Development Board may be dancing the two-step to get an economic development strategy.

The board has found a consultant with a comprehensive economic development strategy that will meet the county’s needs, but the project will cost $60,000 and the board has a $35,000 budget this year.

On Monday, board member Eric Keitzer reported on a March 13 meeting with Angelos Angelou, founder and principal executive of Angelou Economics, an Austin-based consulting firm.

The company, 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.

“His work is phenomenal,” Keitzer said of Angelou. “Economic development is about closing the deal, and I do not doubt he can teach us to close the deal.”

Keitzer said the plan could be divided into two phases, with two steps in each phase. He recommended using $5,000 for administrative costs, leaving $30,000 for the first phase.

If the board commits to the first phase of the project, it will have to persuade the commissioners to provide funds for the second phase.

“We are betting on the outcome,” said board member Fred Chavez. “We serve at the pleasure of the county commissioners.”

Commissioners Jack Wall and Daren Moore and County Judge John Firth were also at the board meeting. The county will start work on the fiscal year 2015 budget in June and vote on the budget by late July or early August, Firth said. The fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

“You need to convince us,” Wall said. “Your relationship with us is good. We selected this group to go forward with an economic plan.”

“It is all about closing,” Moore said. “Come and make your case.”

The board voted to make its case to the commissioners April 28.

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