The Brownwood Economic Development Corporation approved a budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 that reflects the transfer of sales tax revenue to support construction of a municipal parks and recreation project.
The corporation’s board approved a $2,488,900 budget Tuesday, which is 1.22 percent less than the budget for the current year. Executive Director James Campbell said the corporation has only two note payments left in the new year on a warehouse being used by Superior Essex, and that has helped lower the budget.
A portion of the BEDC’s fund balance, which the corporation had previously identified for use in the parks project, will begin to be transferred in the coming year. Voters in the City of Brownwood approved the use of the sales tax revenue otherwise dedicated for economic development for the project in a May 2008 election.
Campbell said the board’s intention is to use cash, not debt, as much as possible to pay its commitment.
City Manager Bobby Rountree told board members the city council has approved seeking bids for a pool park and renovation of the Coliseum Annex for a seniors center. If weather permits, the pool could be open in Camp Bowie in May 2010, and the annex could be ready next spring as well.
The city is working with engineers on the ball field design that is part of the project, Rountree said. Meanwhile, the city is optimistic that it will receive a $500,000 grant from the state this month, making a total of $1.2 million in grants the city has received from different sources for the project.
BEDC board member Harry Miller Jr., who is a former Brownwood city manager, complimented the city staff for its success in writing grants.
The budget parallels the City of Brownwood’s budget by planning for the same amount of sales tax revenue as is in this year’s budget, Campbell said. September is the final month of the fiscal year, and it appears 2008-2009 will end with revenue from sales taxes a few percent down from budget.
“We’re confident that it’s going to be higher (next year), but we need to be conservative,” Campbell said.
In other business, the BEDC board:
• Heard Campbell relay a report from Texas State Technical College’s Brownwood Center indicating that an increase in enrollment will be seen this fall compared to the fall of 2008. When dual-credit courses from participating area high schools are added in September, enrollment could exceed 500.
“This is very positive,” Campbell said, adding that the nursing program at TSTC is “doing very well.”
• Heard Campbell report that National Guard Maj. Gen. Jose S. Mayorga, the adjutant general of Texas Military Forces, has agreed to meet with a delegation from Brownwood regarding the Camp Bowie Training Facility. Campbell said changes at the U.S. Army post at Fort Hood figures to affect the camp in a positive way and enhance its importance to Guard training.
“As Fort Hood changes, it will affect Camp Bowie as well, and it will be utilized even more,” Campbell said.