We are well into our typical, off-and-on winter again. We could use some more precipitation, but we can hope for the kind that doesn’t pile up on the roofs and roads.
The first thing I want to take up in this letter is the role and efforts of our Community Development Corporation (CDC): I’m sure that you are already aware that the CDC serves a different purpose than the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC largely presides over the city’s assets in the industrial park. In this newsletter, I want to applaud the work of the CDC Board and the Director (Rodney Williams) who offer their support for the development of the rest of the city. In particular, they are striving to bring commerce to our city so that we develop businesses we can all enjoy and support. The CDC does this in different ways. They actively seek out the types of businesses that will provide services and products that are perhaps not currently available in Van Alstyne. If their efforts are not yet quite evident, they soon will be.
Existing businesses may also benefit from the CDC’s work, especially through their program for helping businesses to dress up old facades. If yours is a business that needs some façade updating, you should talk with the CDC – they may be able to help you with some funding. For example, our former downtown hardware store building was purchased and restored by Kristy Bryant, and she made great use of the CDC’s façade program. Our senior center has also used the program. Additionally, the CDC has provided funds for our parks and there is talk of more funding. I am also proud to say that the CDC is very open to informing city government of its efforts and allowing us to participate in its meetings.
A very worthy partner for the CDC (and the EDC too) is our Chamber of Commerce, always willing to advocate for new, existing and prospective businesses. The biggest difference between the CDC and the Chamber is the fact that the CDC receives a portion of the sales tax allocation earned by city businesses while the Chamber raises its own funds.
The search for a new city manager continues. Obviously, the interviews being done by the city council will be invaluable and they are still ongoing. Hopefully a new manager will be chosen soon.
Keep our May elections in mind. There are three city council places in play and there are likely to be some contests for those seats. Voter turnout has not been great in recent past years and I am hoping that our citizens will show increasing interest. With the changes likely in our near future, voter participation is becoming more and more important.
I wish you all well.
Mayor Larry Cooper