EDC board adds new employees, moves forward with expansion projects
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board of directors held an executive session during Wednesday’s meeting, and emerged to vote to continue moving forward with prospective projects for two local businesses wanting to expand.
The first, called Project BR 2017-2, is a local restaurant hoping to expand. According to the last report from October 2017, the business owners submitted an application to the EDC for assistance in July, met with the EDC staff on October 18, and a request for an impact analysis was sent to a third party.
The second project, BR 2017-3, is a local business relocating and expanding to a new storefront. According to the October 2017 report from the EDC, the owner at that time decided to postpone due to traveling for his current employment.
By press time Thursday, there was no additional information provided about what comes next for either prospect and there has been no prospect update since October.
The Board unanimously approved amending the EDD’s personnel improvement plan, by adding two positions to the department, a marketing position and turning a temporary administrative assistant position into a permanent one.
A third position was changed, with the present business retention position to become the assistant economic development director/business development and recruitment. That position is presently occupied by Diane Drussell, who is now serving as the interim director of economic development.
For those position changes and additions, the EDC board must amend its budget to approve the cost for those positions for the rest of the fiscal year. The new positions along with budget amendments will have to go before the city council for approval. For this year’s budget, it would need to be increased by $90,330, said Ryan Haverlah, the city’s budget director/deputy city manager. For the next fiscal year, it would increase the annual budget by $115,005.
The board voted to accept the EDC’s unaudited financial report for the months of October, November, and December 2017, and also voted to release funds to the City of Copperas Cove for payroll charges of the Economic Development Department employees and various City employees for the months of October and November 2017. EDD employee payroll amounts for October and November were $15,637.78 and $15,924.52, respectively. Hourly services rendered by city employees for the EDC totaled $1,817.14 and $4,477.7, respectively, for October and November.
The board approved changing its bylaws where meetings are concerned, and will now hold its regular meetings on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m.
The board also voted to establish three committees, after which, although it was not on the agenda to do so, the board also voted to appoint its members that would sit on the two-person committees, with Jeremy Tate and Marcie Lowery to the Fort Hood committee, Chris Mulvey and Adam Martin to the Budget committee, and Marcie Lowery and Joe Acfalle to the RFP committee.
The EDC board approved joining the Grand Central Texas Partnership, which costs $4,300. The GCTP is a regional group that works to attract business to the area as a whole. By joining, the EDC will be able to attend trade shows and other events.
Also during the executive session, the board met to consult with its attorney regarding the digital sign, but no action was taken after the meeting.
The board will also revisit The Narrows cleanup progress, for which RFPs have been sent out. The EDC will go forward with its market appraisal of the park after the cleanup is completed.