As a first step in implementing membership changes in the new bylaws, the BCED board last week voted to offer membership in the BCED Corporation to active members of both the Blanco Chamber of Commerce and Johnson City Chamber of Commerce as an acknowledgement that membership in the chambers consist of businesses and individuals who are interested in a strong economic climate within Blanco County. Members in the BCED Corporation will provide a consolidated voice in the economic direction of Blanco County.
In other matters, the board reviewed sales tax trends in the county and three cities. Blanco County sales tax distributions are continuing to trend positively over the prior year, up 11.85% year to date while year to date revenue disbursements for the city of Blanco are up .44%, for Johnson City are up 35.86% and for Round Mountain are up 9.64%. Sales tax is a critical component to funding services provided by local governments and is an indicator of the health of a local economy.
In reviewing the Strategic Development Plan developed by LCRA for BCED, the board discussed how other counties have privatized county-owned surplus property as a catalyst to economic development . While no recommendation was made regarding any possible surplus property, governmental properties discussed at this meeting were all in the Johnson City historical district; the city-owned old library building and the county-owned old annex/warehouse and original county jail. Additionally, the historical significance of the old county jail was discussed and the importance of the Blanco County Historical Commission involvement. The board was advised that the County Commissioners court was being requested to hold a public meeting for citizens to provide their input.
The last item of discussion was that of the recent announcement by the LCRA, postponing Pedernales Nature Park Development . To date, conservation work has been completed, old structures have been removed and a 150-person open air pavilion has been completed. The goal for the property remains to “help individuals and organizations learn about pest practices in land conservation and stewardship. “ Members of the board had further questions that will be posed to LCRA regarding the park’s future.
The Blanco County EDC believes the overriding economic development priority for Blanco County is to preserve and enhance our quality of life, and to expand economic opportunity for all Blanco County residents. You are invited to be a part. Meetings are held monthly. www.blancocountyedc.com