San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 21st, 2010
Local EDC forms to implement economic plan

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Texas State Provost Perry Moore addresses the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce. To the left is Economic Development San Marcos Executive Director Amy Madison, and to the right is Chamber of Commerce President Phyllis Snodgrass. Photo by Sean Batura.

By SEAN BATURA
News Reporter

A new economic development corporation formed under the auspices of an economic development plan for the San Marcos area soon will ask the San Marcos City Council for approximately $360,000 to implement its five-year plan.

The recently incorporated EDC will be called the Greater San Marcos Economic Development Corporation (GSMEDC). Partners for Progress, the steering committee that helped fund and develop the Greater San Marcos Plan, will meet on July 9 to determine the GSMEDC’s board membership, elect officers, adopt bylaws, authorize staff to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to receive tax-exempt status, and set up a bank account.

“Our funding campaign has been held-up waiting on the tax-exempt status, so it will move forward as soon as the (IRS) papers are filed,” said Economic Development San Marcos (EDSM) Executive Director Amy Madison.

The plan is based on three goals, which are specified as workforce excellence, economic diversification and quality of place.

The goal of workforce development is to be achieved by coordinating and enhancing job training resources. The plan calls for the establishment of a full-time education and workforce development coordinator, the building of an Austin Community College (ACC) campus in San Marcos, enhancements for the Gary Job Corps, support for local school districts and leveraging of Texas State as a key player in the local economy.

The goal identified as economic diversification is broadly concerned with marketing and communications to attract “target industries,” along with support for existing businesses. The target industries are identified as health care, supply chain management, corporate and professional operations, and green industries. The goal also calls for enhancements to the area’s transportation and utility infrastructure, with particular attention to commuter rail and the Greater San Marcos Municipal Airport.

Under the quality of place goal, the plan calls for the promotion of downtown development, urban beautification, conservation of the natural environment and enhancement of outdoor recreational opportunities, and diversification of the housing stock with the goal of increasing home ownership.

Madison and Partners for Progress Chair Perry Moore gave public addresses at the Eggs and Issues breakfast sponsored by the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce in May. Moore may be on the GMEDC board, and Madison will assume a leadership role in the organization’s staff.

“As strong as the organization may seem, it will not thrive without public-private partnerships,” Madison told Eggs and Issues attendees. “The financial campaign to raise $4 million to fund a five-year implementation plan is going to require commitment from our Hays and Caldwell County residents, businesses, industries and organizations.”

The implementation plan portion of the Greater San Marcos Plan calls for the creation of GSMEDC and specifies an estimated annual budget of between $680,000 and $750,000 for the organization. The implementation plan will be an evolving document, Madison said.

Moore, the provost at Texas State, told Eggs and Issues attendees that GSMEDC had raised about $500,000.

“That means we need another $300,000 per year over the next five years in order to try to implement this plan,” Moore said to attendees. “Again, I say it would be a tragedy if, for lack of $300,000 per year, we can’t keep this group together.”

GSMEDC may seek $50,000 from Texas State University, $50,000 from Hays County, and $25,000 from Caldwell County.

The Greater San Marcos Plan was developed during a months-long process facilitated by Atlanta consulting firm Market Street Services, Inc., and guided by Partners for Progress. Founding members of Partners for Progress include EDSM, the chamber of commerce, the City of San Marcos, San Marcos CISD, Texas State, Hays County, Central Texas Medical Center, Gary Job Corps, Caldwell County, the Lockhart EDC, the Luling EDC, and Prime Outlets.

On Feb. 16, San Marcos city councilmembers adopted the Greater San Marcos Plan in a unanimous resolution. According to the council’s resolution, “the City Council may implement all or any parts of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan as it deems appropriate.” The implementation plan portion of the Greater San Marcos Plan specifies benchmarks and measures by which to judge the plan’s progress and includes step-by-step instructions for each year of the plan.

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0 thoughts on “Local EDC forms to implement economic plan

  1. I’m sure the taxpayers of San Marcos look forward to to flushing $300,000. Didn’t central economic planning go out with the Soviet Union?

  2. With them asking for a $1,500,000 commitment from San Marcos taxpayers ($300K/yr for five years), where can we see a copy of the proposed annual budget, and a copy of the “Plan” itself? And, since this new expense wasn’t budgeted by the City, and we’re in over our heads in debt and long-term obligations, what’s going to get “cut” from current expenditures in order to pay for this $300K/yr?

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