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Glenn Hegar Visits Bastrop on "Good for Texas Tour"

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By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar visited Bastrop last week as one of the stops on his “Good For Texas Tour”. But before speaking to the group who gathered to hear him give a report on the financial state of Texas, Hegar himself got a tour – of the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop – with owner and sculptor Clint Howard.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar examines a model of the "Aggie Ring" with owner Clint Howard, Deep in the Heart Art Foundry.Angela Ryan, assistant director for the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, said a member of Hegar’s staff called ahead of his visit and asked, “Is there any place he should see while he is in Bastrop?” “Once I told them that the Aggie ring was made at the Foundry, (the visit) was a done deal!” Ryan said enthusiastically, referring to the beautiful metal sculpture honoring the Aggies. And sure enough, once he shook hands with everyone upon arriving at the Foundry, Hegar, who is an A&M graduate, quickly made his way over to ‘the ring.’ Howard explained that it is a much smaller version (at about 7 lbs) of the huge 12-feet-high ring that weighs 6,500 lbs and stands at the main Texas A&M campus in College Station.

Howard then gave Hegar a tour of the foundry. He learned from Howard that “95 percent” of the work done at the foundry is work “produced for other artists” and that “word of mouth” is how Howard and company land work: “We’ve only had two paid ads in the history” of the foundry, Howard declared. Hegar received a tour of the design area plus areas where ceramic molds are made, and stations where wax, bronze and steel is poured. One particular work of art drew rapt attention: a huge sculpture being made of Oklahoma Sooners Coach Bob Stoops, the winningest coach in Oklahoma history.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar gives a report to a group in Bastrop as part of his "Good For Texas Tour".At the Convention Center Hegar talked about a range of economic issues concerning Texas. He said he had advised the Texas Legislature, “I need you to have money in the bank” – a reference for ensuring there is a healthy “rainy-day” fund balance. He also painted a healthy economic picture of Texas, saying that the state’s population is significantly increasing, acquiring 600 newborns every day and 650 more people that travel here every day. Hegar said that although the price of oil “is the most difficult commodity to predict” – and has recently fallen substantially – that the Texas economy overall is still healthy and is the “12th largest economy in the world.”

Hegar has said he is “increasing transparency and accountability at the state’s chief financial agency, while improving customer service.” John Cyrier, who serves as the State Representative for House District 17, which includes Bastrop, also spoke at the Convention Center gathering.

John Cyrier, Shawn Kirkpatrick, and Glenn Hegar.

Hegar spoke about his local connection to Bastrop including “walking up streets here door to door” to meet citizens with First National Bank president Reid Sharp. Hegar previously was a member of the Texas Senate for the 18th District. He succeeded fellow Republican Susan Combs as comptroller on Jan 2 of this year. Hegar said his family has “deep roots in Texas,” having come from a family of farmers.

Hegar finished by asking, "Can you imagine not claiming $4 billion?" That’s what currently sits in the State of Texas treasury that is unclaimed money/funds left by Texans. That was just one of the interesting facts shared by Hegar. He urged Texans to go to www.ClaimItTexas.org to see if they have any old bank accounts, insurance premiums or other forms of forgotten funds.