NOLANVILLE — City Council members recently appointed seven members to the city’s first economic development corporation board.
City Manager Stephen Pearl said the city began collecting 4B sales tax for economic development in 2009, but a lack of volunteers to serve on the board kept those funds from being used until now.
“We’ve been collecting this tax for four years, but since we didn’t have an EDC, we haven’t been able to allocate those funds,” he said, adding the new EDC will have about $80,000 to get started. “We talked about the value of establishing an EDC at great lengths during council meetings and in public hearings, but no one jumped at the opportunity until now.”
Striving to preserve the city’s small-town atmosphere, Mayor Christina Rosenthal said residents already have a nice community, but the city is lacking amenities.
“We don’t want big factory-type business to set up shop here. What we do want is our own stores to shop at and things like our own coffee shop,” she said. “The citizens help us make the decisions on where we are going economically. They don’t realize how much of a say they really have, and they have a hand in what businesses come here.”
Pearl said by establishing an EDC the city is preparing for growth and future generations to enhance the city economically and improve the quality of life for residents. “We don’t want to have to raise people’s property tax so the idea is to bring the right businesses in to bring in more tax revenue so we don’t have to do that,” he said. “The EDC is a great thing for the city and since we have never had one before, it will also be a learning experience for everyone as well.”
For a city as small as Nolanville, where the main source of revenue is property tax, community support and volunteers are important. “We have a lot of boards and commissions that need volunteers, and I am just surprised that more people don’t get involved,” Rosenthal said. “If people want better roads or more parks, we need their voices to make things happen.”
The EDC is scheduled to meet for the first time in October.