• December 20, 2014

Coryell EDB still mulling strategic plan

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — The Coryell County Economic Development Board has postponed its budget pitch to the county commissioners on strategic planning so members can gather more information.

Last month, the board was ready to hire the Austin consulting firm of Angelou Economics to work up a $60,000 comprehensive economic development strategy for the county.

Because the board’s 2014 budget is only $35,000, the plan would have to be done in two phases — one this year and the other next year — with the second phase to be paid with 2015 funds the county commissioners have yet to approve.

Board member Eric Keitzer, who met with Angelos Angelou, the head of the consulting firm, said the current budget would pay for half the project plus $5,000 for administrative costs.

The board voted to make its pitch for $30,000 for Phase II funding at the commissioners’ court meeting April 28. The serious pulling and tugging of the county’s 2015 budget process will be in full swing by June.

Last week, the board got wind of The Center for Innovation, a non-profit group established by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2001.

County Judge John Firth heard about the center from the staff of state Rep. J.D. Sheffield, who in turn heard of it from folks in the city of Glen Rose, which has partnered with the center on economic development.

The price tag on strategic economic development planning by the Arlington outfit is $25,000 a year, Firth said.

Officials from Glen Rose will make a presentation about the center at the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce on April 21, Firth said, and members of the Coryell County Economic Development Board might want to attend.

So, the board pressed the “pause” button on the Angelou Economics project long enough to find out what the Center for Innovation has to offer. After taking time to plan on making a plan, the board will present its budget request to the county sometime in May.

Meanwhile, our place has been invaded by a mob of hungry hummingbirds, so our sugar expenditures are over budget.

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