Economic Development Committee moving ahead on projects

[Larry P. Smith, chairman of the local Economic Development Steering Committee and Council, submitted the following report about the committee's Feb. 6 special called meeting. If you'd like to attend, meetings are held as needed on Thursdays at 9 a.m. in the GRISD Technology Center. The Current will post announcements of upcoming meetings.]

The committee's goal is to raise $25,000 for the partnership with Arlington's Center for Innovation.

The committee’s goal is to raise $25,000 for the partnership with Arlington’s Center for Innovation.

Almost 40 percent of the membership was in attendance. This is a high turnout for a group as large as ours. The number of members is now 60 and more join at each meeting.

This proved to be one of the best meetings due to the excitement and energy created by the large number of projects and plans that are nearing completion or ready for the next step in the process. It was reiterated that this is a pro-active committee. Once an issue is discussed, fully investigated and a decision is made to adopt the project, it moves forward with dispatch and is swiftly carried to the next level.

This meeting continued slightly more than our adopted time of one hour due to a unified request to hear more about two items not on the agenda. They appear under 7.- Other Business. Many remained for more than an hour after the meeting adjourned to visit and discuss various projects. A short summary appears below.

 1. Economic Development “Partnership” with Center for Innovation

Darrell Best reported on progress that has been made. Since those in attendance were already familiar with and very supportive of the “Partnership,” it moved to another opportunity.

Darrell had recently attended a symposium on “drones” — not the military drones that we hear and read about, those used by private enterprise for deliveries, mapping,and other businesses. Karen Richardson also mentioned farming. It was an interesting and enlightening presentation. Since Texas is on the cutting edge of this technology and Center for Innovation is involved in the concept, it fit well in Darrell`s report.

Please see a note at the end of this report for an update on funding and plans.

2. Certified Retirement Community

City Council agenda – Feb.10

3. Revitalization of Downtown

Karen Richardson reported on the election of new officers for the Glen Rose Downtown Association and  the large number that attended the first meeting of 2014 and their enthusiasm.

Ken Prikryl reported that the Paluxy River bridge project is ongoing and requires planning, engineering studies, proposals and more to fully develop.

4. Signs – Chisholm Trail Parkway and Glen Rose

Warren Lewis (Fossil Rim Wildlife Center) reported that sign companies are seeking locations near the CTP. Nichole Belford, Glen Rose CVB executive director, and Warren are working on design for the “WELCOME” sign.

 5. Chisholm Trail Parkway

Many differing opinions on opening date and a May date received much skepticism.

Ward Miller offered to monitor progress and communicate with TxDOT and NTTA to keep the committee informed.

 6. Tourism

Nichole Belford showed the new CVB website and described the ease with which it can be navigated by visitors, those planning a visit or someone searching for a place to visit. The website was received with enthusiasm as are all of Nichole’s presentations, plans and projects. Spring Break and the need to be ready was discussed. At one point, it appeared that Nichole was going to personally tell TxDOT and the NTTA to “get it open!”

 7. Other Business

Oakdale Park

Kelly Harris (Oakdale Park manager) gave a very interesting and informative report on plans, activities and upcoming events. She is putting a lot of time and energy into making the park a focal point for families and entertainment.


Chandler Mclay and Sandra Skrei discussed the possibility of establishing local scholarships for graduating seniors so that more have the opportunity for a college education. It was pointed out that some communities offer a four-year education to all graduates. This was a lively discussion with many positive comments, including those by members of local organizations that are already contributing to scholarship funds.

Chandler and Sandra announced another large financial commitment to the fund for the “partnership” with “Center for Innovation.”

The meeting was adjourned.

“Partnership” with the “Center For Innovation”

Funding for the “Partnership” is nearing the goal of $25,000. All commitments were voluntary. No funds have been solicited. Most have been $1,000 but no minimum nor maximum has been set. As soon as the goal is reached, the funds will be collected and forwarded to the “Center For Innovation” as tax -free donations to a non-profit 501c3.

We plan to reach this goal within the next few days.

If you or an associate would like to contribute by making a commitment, or if you have questions, please, call 817-909-7070. 




2 Responses to Economic Development Committee moving ahead on projects

  1. Larry Smith Reply

    February 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Thanks, Kathryn.
    We want the community to know what we are doing and know that everyone is welcome to attend and take part. The Committee/Council works on many projects beyond the normal scope of Economic Development, which is usually limited to local economy,jobs etc.
    We do that but, our goal is to benefit the entire Community with “preservation of the character and integrity of the community” a major part of any goal we set or project we undertake.

    The “Current” is an excellent forum to keep us
    informed on many subjects and events. Thanks, Larry

    • Kathryn Reply

      February 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Larry, and thanks to everyone serving on this committee and attending these meetings to help Somervell County build a stronger economy.

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