BDC directors approve letter opposing House Bill 1221
Directors of the Business Development Corporation of Vernon unanimously approved action to write and submit a letter in opposition of House Bill 1221 during a monthly business meeting Wednesday, April 17.
House Bill 1221, which was passed by the Texas house with a similar bill approved by the senate, is now in committee. This bill if signed by the governor would permit economic development funds to be used for municipal projects without consent of voters. Current law requires approval of such funding use by local taxpayers via an election.
BDC Managing Director Rick Hardcastle, who is in Austin this week, presided over the BDC meeting via teleconferencing. He said passage of that bill into law would not affect the Business Development Corporation of Vernon unless BDC revenues (through an economic development sales tax) were to be used for City of Vernon needs such as street projects, purchase of police cars or to build a new police station or city hall – without voter approval.
Hardcastle said the Texas Municipal League is also opposed to such legislation.
BDC board member Grady Stowe suggested the Vernon BDC place its name on list of opponents to such legislation.
A motion was then made by Stowe and seconded by Lisa Herber for the Business Development Corporation of Vernon to submit a letter of opposition to the bill to the appropriate committee and gave Administrative Assistant Jan Bonner authorization to create the letter. It was approved by unanimous vote.
Directors also approved the February and March financial reports, and minutes of the February business meeting. They also reviewed a facility and project report for which Hardcastle reported no new developments in negotiations with Keurig/Dr Pepper of the lease of the former Nocona Boot plant on Enid Street or a UPS proposal to expand operations in Vernon.
In an office and management report, Bonner confirmed the cancellation of plans by a Houston firm for a senior living facility near the Wilbarger County Jail, which ended plans for rezoning the location from its current status of light industrial, and noted that a local entrepreneur came to the BDC who showed an interest in purchasing a local business up for sale but was referred to the Small Business Development Center at Midwestern State University for consultation.
Present at the meeting were Bonner, board chairman George Daigle and board members Stowe, Herber and Anne Spears..