Brownwood council OKs deal with retail consultant

Steve Nash
City of Brownwood

Call it the “second round” of retail recruitment.

That’s how Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes described the hiring of a retail consultant called Retail Strategies as city council members approved an agreement Tuesday.

The council’s approval means the city is entering a three-year agreement with the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Brownwood Economic Development Corp. to hire Retail Strategies, with the $100,000 cost equally split between the three entities. The annual cost to each entity will be about $11,100.

Haynes noted the previous agreement the three entities had with another consultant, The Retail Coach. That consultant “did a very fine job for us,” Haynes said. “We would not have United (Supermarkets) and some other developments in the city had it not been for their fine work.”

Haynes said the choice of Retail Strategies represents “a desire to reach a different audience and we felt like Retail Strategies provided us this opportunity.”

Haynes said he didn’t have any specific retail businesses in mind as possibilities for Brownwood but he believes the interest and demand are strong for restaurants and clothing stores.

Retail Strategies, Haynes said, will do a little more follow-up with potential businesses than did The Retail Coach and will be more actively involved in “making the deal happen.” Haynes also said Retail Strategies is licensed in real estate and can help assimilate available properties.

The consultant will “provide trade market demographics, mapping, site promotion and retailer and developer recruitment,” offer support services to existing businesses and work with land owners and local real estate brokers to market sites, council members were told.

The chamber’s board voted to participate in the contract last month, and the BEDC board will vote on the contract on April 21.

In other business Tuesday, council members:

• Approved an ordinance on first reading prohibiting parking on the west side of Fisk, starting at Chandler and going north for 60 feet. Currently, as motorists traveling east on Chandler stop at the Fisk Street intersection, their view of traffic as they look to the left is blocked because large vehicles frequently park at 411 Fisk, council members were told.

• Approved an ordinance on second and third/final readings to amend the rules and regulations of the Brownwood airport. The change eliminates the requirements to obtain a permit from the Airport Board for commercial activity but establishes a registration requirement for commercial activity. The change also eliminates the requirement to obtain commercial insurance before performing commercial activity at the airport.

• Awarded a bid to Bassco Services for $64,500 for the purchase of a jet refueler. The current 1984 truck is outdated and parts for many of its components are no longer available.

• Approved the city’s participation in an agreement with an EMS consultant called Health Care Visions to evaluate the current EMS system, develop a request for proposals and help select an EMS provider after the county’s contract with Allegiance Ambulance expires on Dec. 31. The city’s portion of cost will be $7,282.

• Approved the city’s participation with the county in leasing a new phone system for the Law Enforcement Center from Sharco.