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EDC approves incentive applications, budget

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

The Economic Development Corporation approved three business incentive grants for a total of $30,000, and one request for $1,500 to be deducted from next year’s budget at the special meeting Sept. 25 for a total of $30,000. Carlyn Deerberg of Bandera Signs and Banners applied for a façade grant of up to $10,000 to cover the portion of the metal building that she rents for her business with cedar siding, to comply with the “Old West” style of other businesses on Main Street. The board approved the expenditure. There is one façade grant left for this fiscal year.
Nick Bhakta of Bandera Lodge applied for a performance grant for $10,000 to replace a walk-in refrigerator to be used by Samantha’s of Bandera, which is part of the lodge. Estimated cost is between $11,000 and 12,000. The board approved the expenditure.
Silver Sage Corral director of operations and director of finance, Art Crawford and Pam Thatcher respectively, requested a performance grant for $10,000 to buy a new walk-in refrigerator and to replace a steamer, used to keep hot foods hot. The board approved the expenditure. Crawford said that the EDC had budgeted $30,000 for Silver Sage (which is an incorporated 501(c)3 under the name Bandera County Commission on Aging, Inc.) which had not been used, but this expenditure will be drawn from the performance incentive grant line item in the budget.
Patricia Moore, executive director of Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau, requested $1,500 to send 10 officials and business owners to attend a Joe Veneto workshop in Fredericksburg on October 26. The board approved the expenditure as part of next year’s travel and research expense.
The board reviewed and approved the budget, which, as Crawford said, “Looks a whole lot like last year.” They agreed to develop a scoring rubric in order to evaluate incentive applications from businesses on a quarterly basis, instead of awarding grants on a first-come, first-serve basis as they have done this summer and fall. They plan to award up to $27,500 quarterly and will keep $25,000 for emergency business grants.
Board member Cindy Harrington announced that chainsaw sculptor Cam Dockery will be in town from Oct. 22 through Oct. 26 to proceed with the next public art project in the city park. Dockery owns a business called “Bearly Making It Chainsaw Carvings” and is known for on-site public carvings, turning stumps and trunks of dead trees into works of art. Dockery will carve two trees for a total of $10,000, which will come out of the 2017-2018 budget. Nick Bhakta, proprietor of Bandera Lodge, offered to provide a room at no charge for Dockery while the artist is in town.