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Commentary: Economic development is strong, growing in Bastrop

The Bastrop local economy is ever-evolving, with many opportunities and challenges in the near term. As the 2017-18 budget year is set to begin on Oct. 1, I’d like to share some thoughts with the community.

Board of directors

In June, the mayor and City Council appointed four new members to the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation (EDC) board. Mayor Connie Schroeder, Sam Kier, Ron Spencer, and Katheryn Nash joined Camilo Chavez, Kevin Plunkett and Drusilla Rogers as the board of directors for the EDC. Having spent time with each of the board members, I can say this board really has a wide base of business and industry knowledge that is a benefit to the Bastrop community. Over the next few months the board will receive training about job recruitment, retail recruiting and development, and the site development process. I invite the public to attend our board trainings or watch the meetings when rebroadcast on the local cable access channel, Bastrop TX Network (BTXN).

Our board members are volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council to serve two-year terms. Two-year terms for Type B economic development boards are a legal requirement in the Texas Local Government Code. This differs from the City Council and other city boards, commissions and task forces that have three-year terms per the City Charter or their own bylaws. Another pertinent requirement of the local government code is that the EDC is subject to the Open Meetings and Public Information Act, and every board member attends the required one-hour training for each. Many of the EDC board members go above and beyond to attend the Texas Economic Development Council’s Sales Tax Workshop, which provides a one-day course in economic development specific to Texas.

Historic Downtown Bastrop

Downtown Bastrop – what a place! I can’t say enough about our local entrepreneurs and small business owners and what they bring to the community. Several new restaurants and shops have opened which have enhanced the downtown experience. Copper Shot Distillery, located in The Crossing overlooking the river, offers a selection of delicious spirits (including pink lemonade moonshine, my personal favorite), live music and great people. Italian Cowboy, located on Main Street above Cripple Creek Wine and Gifts, has an assortment of Italian-inspired food and cooking wares. The 602 on Main Street, which recently opened at 919 Main Street in the former Baxter’s building, has an expansive assortment of beers on tap, live music, and delectable food. If you haven’t been downtown lately, head on down and check out the recent additions. The EDC continues to support the Bastrop Main Street Program and downtown in a variety of ways. Which leads us to the parking discussion.

Read the full article at Statesman.com