By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
BUDA – Warren Ketteman doesn’t often live a dull day, but some days are more alike than others.
The executive director of Buda’s economic development corporation (EDC) went to the Hays County Commissioners Court for the umpteenth time Tuesday asking the court to progress on road projects.
“It’s Groundhog Day,” Ketteman told the court. “I feel like I’m in that movie. It’s killing me … Please move forward today. Get me out of this movie.”
By day’s end, the wheels were in motion for the EDC to work on Ketteman’s contract, which expires on Sept. 30. The board appointed three-member committee from its ranks – Buda attorney Abigail Klamert, Allegro Studio impresario Terry Capps and Patrick Kirby, who is the associate vice president for financial affairs at St. Edward’s University in Austin.
The committee will explore compensation for economic development officials in cities situated similarly to Buda. Ketteman’s present three-year deal calls for well more than $100,000 in salary and benefits.
The EDC also is considering how to fund $2.4 million for a second stage to its Sportsplex project at FM 1626 and FM 967. The EDC hoped to raise $1.2 million from the county, $500,000 from the state department of parks and wildlife (TPW) and $700,000 from the city and its own resources.
However, a grant writer Ketteman respects told him TPW wouldn’t fund the project. Furthermore, Ketteman said, county parks officials don’t seem interested in funding more than $1.2 million. So, the EDC is exploring options.
The EDC tabled a motion to hire grant writing help until it can learn more about funding possibilities with the county. At present, the county has virtually halted parks funding out of its $30 million bond from May 2007 until it revises the system for assessing projects.