HARKER HEIGHTS — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint seven members to a renewed Harker Heights Economic Development Corporation.
After forming, the EDC would be the first one to meet in 12 years, said City Manager Steve Carpenter.
Unlike EDCs in Belton and Temple, the Harker Heights EDC is not funded through a half-cent sales tax, Carpenter said. It is unfunded.
“If any money goes to it for any reason, council has to approve it,” Carpenter said.
Mayor Mike Aycock asked Carpenter to suggest members for the council’s approval in an upcoming meeting.
The city originally started the EDC in 1996, as a way to transfer property deeds to businesses, Carpenter said. While the group technically remained active, it stopped meeting when the city found other ways to give businesses land.
EDCs function as advisory boards that brief city officials on how to approach economic development.
Harker Heights’ re-formed EDC would bring together city officials and business professionals to concentrate on economic development.
EDC bylaws require at least three of the seven members to not be city officials. While two-year terms are standard for appointees, Carpenter called for three EDC members to start with one-year terms, in order to establish a staggered appointment system.
Involving members of the business community in the economic decision-making process “just makes good sense,” Carpenter said. “Things are getting a little more complex.”
In the early 2000s, Farm-to-Market 2410 was a two-lane road with no sidewalks, before anchors like Market Heights and Walmart dropped in Heights, Carpenter said.
He said he sees the potential for more growth.
“It’s all changed really fast. … We need to think of the final targeting we want to do as far as the type of business we want to get here,” Carpenter said. “It’s kind of competitive, so you have to have an overall strategic plan of what you’re trying to do. If we get some good, smart people on that group, it’ll help us do that.”