EDC board approves contract with new law firm
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove Economic Development board of directors had a quorum for Wednesday’s noon meeting, during which board members Adam Martin, Harald Weldon, and newcomer Joey Acfalle unanimously approved an agreement between the EDC and the Knight Law Firm. New board member Jeremy Tate will officially be seated on the board on October 1 and present board member Christian Mulvey was absent from the meeting.
The board received the monthly prospect/project update from EDC executive director Marc Farmer along with the EDC’s monthly business retention/expansion report.
“We do have several for information only. One is under construction now, the CDL school, formerly known as Project Big Rig,” Farmer said. “There are about 10 projects, really good projects. Diane’s done a good job on keeping up with these companies, and on my side. We’re really primed to bring in something really good.”
“We make calls every day,” Farmer added. “If you think you’re waiting in the office for the phone to ring, you’re wrong.”
Several of the prospects include several auto parts distributors, manufacturers to include one plastics manufacturer, and one company seeking to relocate to this area from East Texas.
Farmer was set to provide an update on the status of the EDC’s digital sign, but board vice chair Adam Martin questioned if that discussion is usually held in an executive session and that item was postponed to a future meeting.
The board also approved the request for an extension for two current board members, Harald Weldon and Adam Martin, to attend the Basic Economic Development Course within 12 months of being appointed, per CCEDC bylaws. The course is being held in Austin November 14-17.
During the discussion regarding that training, board member Harald Weldon asked if spending the money would be wise, due to the fact that Copperas Cove voters will be deciding regarding the creation of a municipal development district and not knowing the outcome of the election.
Dan Santee, the EDC interim attorney, weighed on the idea of spending the money where training is concerned.
“Even if that election is approved in November, this board and corporation will continue to function through the election would take place in May, to repeal the 4A allocation,” Santee said. “An MDD is still an economic development engine, it’s just a political subdivision as opposed to a corporation.”
“I believe it’s a basic course and gets you the basic grounds for any type of economic development,” Farmer added.
The board approved the EDC’s participation in the regional defense economic adjustment assistance grant (DEAAG) local cost share, in an amount of $36,018. The action was approved 2-1, with Harald Weldon casting the lone nay vote.
Keith Sledd, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, explained what the grand funding would go toward, that of a $4.7 million aircraft security instrumentation project at Robert Gray Army Airfield/Killeen Airport.
Board member Adam Martin asked for a condition to be placed on the EDC’s participation in the cost share, that being if at least 50 percent of the cities involved in the cost share also participate in the cost sharing, with action needed for a future budget amendment for the EDC’s cost share. Sledd said they have not heard from the cities of Harker Heights or Temple, and will meet with the Killeen EDC next week. Bell County has dedicated 25 percent of the local cost. Local cost share is based on census numbers.
The board also directed EDC staff to complete the transition of the EDC’s present bank depository from Extraco Bank to the city’s current depository, National United Bank, in keeping with city council’s direction at its Sept. 27, 2016 meeting, as part of the transition to the EDC’s employees being a city department.
The board unanimously approved a request from Coryell County to use the building at 201 S. 2nd St. for October early voting and the November 7 election.