GATESVILLE — After losing one of its members in a dustup with the county over a “vote of no confidence,” the Coryell County Economic Development Board will try again Monday to persuade county commissioners to approve $60,000 over two years to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy.
This time, the EDB apparently will have the backing of economic development panels in Gatesville and Copperas Cove.
On May 26, the commissioners’ court voted 3-2 to reject the EDB’s proposed contract with AngelouEconomics of Austin because the board had not cleared the plan with the Gatesville Economic Development Board and the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation.
Commissioners Don Jones and Daren Moore voted to approve the project, which would be completed in two $30,000 phases over two years. Commissioners Jack Wall and Justin Latham voted no. County Judge John Firth broke the tie by voting no.
Firth said the project should have the “unqualified support” of the Gatesville and Cove economic development panels before county money was spent.
The snub prompted EDB member Sam Golden to resign, calling the court’s action “a vote of no confidence.” He suggested the county dissolve the EDB and back the two cities’ economic development efforts instead.
Last week, the Gatesville Economic Development Board unanimously approved a letter endorsing the county board’s efforts after a presentation from Dick Van Dyke, the county EDB chairman, and Gatesville City Councilwoman Barbara Burrow, who sits on both the city and county boards.
Van Dyke said he met with Cove EDC Executive Director Polo Enriquez on May 30 to brief him on the county plan.
“Polo said he didn’t have any big concerns and that his board is not interested in who we hire to do the plan,” Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke said he will make a quarterly presentation to the Cove EDC board to keep them informed of the EDB’s activities.
Wall said he was not sold on AngelouEconomics and wanted more information about the other companies that submitted proposals for the work.
Latham said he objected to committing fiscal year 2015 money until the county begins its budget process later this month.
Under the contract proposed by EDB member Eric Kietzer, the board’s $35,000 2014 budget would be spent on the first $30,000 phase of the AngelouEconomics project, plus $5,000 for administrative costs.
The EDB is asking for an additional $35,000 in fiscal year 2015 for the second $30,000 phase and another $5,000 for administrative costs.
Contact Tim Orwig at firstname.lastname@example.org