BEDC looks forward to successful new year

Success, failure and forward-thinking plans for the next year were the main focus of the Brady Economic Development Corporation’s (BEDC) annual meeting held Tuesday evening at Brady City Hall. The meeting opened with a proposal from the Heart of Texas Golf Association related to the possible expansion of the Brady Golf Course and projects affiliated with it. Ray Hawkins, president of the Heart of Texas Golf Association, addressed the board members and gave a synopsis of the plans and efforts that are currently underway. The purpose of the presentation was ultimately to ask the BEDC for $100,000 to assist in raising in-kind funds required for a project of this magnitude. In summary, the entire scope of the projects that are being considered include the redesigning of the current golf course and expanding it to include another nine holes as well as providing an adequate and necessary watering system that will water the course as well as both cemeteries and Richards Park. Another project, that is also directly related to the area and grants being sought, includes plans for a youth recreation facility that will be built on the land adjacent to Memory Lane directly behind the Burton McCord VFW hall. Together, the projects total approximately $4.2 million, which is broken down in to two separate totals of approximately $3 million for the golf course and water supply and $1.2 million for the recreation facility. The grant requests and projects rely heavily on having a usable water supply and are attempting to tie all grants together for one common goal. The golf association addressed the board as part of their goal to procure the necessary funds to alleviate any financial burden from the City of Brady. Members working on both the golf course project and the recreation facility project are currently seeking grants from several foundations and organizations that are projected to cover the majority of the costs. Both groups are working in tandem with Kim Lenoir, a grant writer who has been hired by the city to assist in grant procurement. After hearing the proposal, the BEDC board expressed an interest in granting the association’s request, but requested several financial documents associated with the project prior to holding a special meeting to act upon the formal request. During the regular portion of the meeting, treasurer Sam McAnally informed the board that all checks for the cost of construction of the new hangar at Curtis Field have been written and the last few details were to be finalized Wednesday. In a telephone conversation Thursday morning, Mike Trollinger of the McCulloch County Industrial Foundation stated that the hangar was completed on Wednesday and the first month’s prorated rent was submitted by Alan Woodson of Texas Aerocolor to the City of Brady. The hangar is being leased by Woodson for an airplane painting business, and according to the loan schedule provided by the BEDC, the cost of the hangar will be recouped over the next 15 years at which time the hangar will be owned free and clear by the City of Brady. In other airport-related business, the board discussed the current status of Carthan Aviation and the plans that business has to relocate to Curtis Field. According to BEDC board member Grant Evridge, it appears that the original plans Carthan Aviation had of relocating and opening a large airplane repair and maintenance operation have been put on hold pending further developments, but the business is still expected to relocate to Brady in the near future. In what could be developed into one of the most useful tools the BEDC has for long-term economic and community development, the first comprehensive draft of a plan was presented to the board by Mike Trollinger. The result of an effort to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to both economic and community development, the report was submitted as the first step in developing a long-term plan. “This is only a draft that was compiled using information gathered from several key individuals both in Brady and McCulloch County,” said Trollinger. “From the information that was obtained through meetings and surveys, I have developed a SWOT matrix to help identify possible avenues that can be taken.” The lengthy report submitted to the board was originally completed to satisfy the bylaws of the BEDC charter that calls for the corporation to have an active plan that is used and reviewed on a regular basis. According to Trollinger, the plan submitted is only a draft that needs special attention by key parties in both the county and the city. He reiterated to the board several times that it was only a beginning and the success of the plan depends upon actively pursuing it and making it into a living document that is constantly reviewed and updated. “This plan was originally done to comply with BEDC guidelines,” said BEDC President Kim King. “Hopefully this will provide the city with a tool that will assist in the development of a long range plan,” A brief overview of the plan that identified goals, possible plans for the next several years and a bounty of strengths, weaknesses threats and opportunity ended the discussion with positive comments by the board and members of the audience. Prior to closing the meeting, the board passed a motion that reappointed officers to their current positions. Those individuals and their positions are: Kim King, president; Grant Evridge, vice president and business development committee chairperson; Sam McAnally, treasurer; Clair Whitesell, finance committee chairperson; and Glenn Miller, member.

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