LAMPASAS — Less than one week after posting employment ads for a new economic development director, city officials said they already received applications.
“We’ve actually received three applications the first day it was posted on the Texas Municipal League website, and I think we will get similar, quick responses from the employment as on the (Texas Economic Development Commission) website,” City Manager Finley deGraffenried said. “Realistically, it could take 45 to 60 days to fill the position, and it could be a little longer than that to get through interviews and the culling process.”
In the past, the city used contract personnel to assist with economic development on a somewhat limited basis, deGraffenried said. The economic development director title comes under the city manager’s umbrella of responsibility.
The last development contractor, Sherry Hargrove, left the position almost two months ago as the city entered this year’s budget process.
DeGraffenried said he wants the new director to tackle two distinctive goals.
“First, we think there is some work to be done with existing businesses; perhaps, there’s an opportunity for expansion and they might want some direction in how to proceed,” he said. “Second, another advantage this person will provide is helping to sell our community and follow up with businesses interested in relocating to Lampasas.”
Mayor Jerry Grayson, who has long been an advocate of the city’s economic development plans, is excited to see the position become available.
“Things seem to be looking up for us here in Lampasas,” he said. “I’ve always been a big advocate for economic development; I think it’s good for the community. This will be the first full-time position in that role, and I think it will be a well-rounded situation that’s good for the city.”
Grayson highlighted the city’s efforts in water, wastewater, electrical and roadway improvements.
“We have been expanding, upgrading and modernizing what we already have to bring in business and industry,” he said. “We’re also striving to be builder-friendly for those who want to bring more affordable housing opportunities to the area.”