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Agnes Street/Technology Drive projects advance; Kirkpatrick ‘bids farewell’

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By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

During their regular meeting on Monday, April 16, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors granted an extension to its private redevelopment partner, Stone Cobalt, for the property at 921 Main Street. In other action, the board approved developing bid documents for a debt issuance of $1.2 million for the Agnes Street extension part of the Seton Family of Hospitals project. Local and regional banks will be asked to respond with proposed rates and terms.

Shawn Kirkpatrick tendered his resignation as Executive Director of the Bastrop EDC.

Kirkpatrick Bids Adieu – The Board also bid farewell to BEDC Executive Director Shawn Kirkpatrick, whose last day on the job will be Friday, April 20. In addressing the Board, Kirkpatrick said it had been “my honor and privilege to serve this Corporation a little over three years.” Kirkpatrick added his future position as “an opportunity” to get back into “the private sector.” He said after discussions with his family, he made a choice that is “best for our children.” Board member Mayor Connie Schroeder, commending Kirkpatrick, said, “I always admire men and women who put their family first.” After coming out of executive session, the Board approved contacting Texas First Group to initiate a search for an Interim Executive Director; Strategic Government Resources has been selected to search for candidates for a permanent Executive Director. Those contacts had already occurred by Tuesday afternoon, BEDC officials said.

The Board approved extending the LOI with Stone Cobalt for 921 Main Street.

921 Main - Guy Dudley, president of Stone Development Group and working with the partnered companies Stone Cobalt, said additional time was needed to successfully market the property at 921 Main. He said marketing 921 Main faces competition with several properties already up for sale or lease downtown. He termed marketing the proposed two-story 9,000-sq. ft. building “challenging,” adding that the average space of buildings being marketed downtown is 2,400 sq. ft. The Board approved extending the Letter of Intent with Stone Cobalt to December 31, 2018; the Board will work with Stone Cobalt to help with marketing.

Jason Hughes presented debt options to the Board.Debt issuance – The Board approved moving ahead with documents for a bond issuance of $1.2 million, with a debt service term of 15 years, for the Agnes Street and Technology Drive projects. It will involve street extension and drainage projects. Jason Hughes with Hilltop Securities will draft a term sheet for the bond issuance and then meet with officials from local and regional banks, so they can respond with proposed terms for the $1.2 million project.

Sarah O'Brien updated the Board on downtown beautification initiatives. Downtown Spruced Up – Sarah O’Brien, Director of the Hospitality and Downtown Department, updated the Board on measures to beautify downtown, plus upcoming events. She detailed a Fiscal Year 2018 ‘hit list’ that includes ramping up downtown’s appeal to visitors/shoppers with a planter box program, other landscaping, waste receptacles, bike racks and additional seating. In additional action, the Board approved the minutes of its March 19, 2018 regular meeting, and accepted the March financial summary report.