City of San Angelo Development Corporation approved the software license for estimating economic impact of increased employment under the city's various economic development agreements. Economic Development Director Tony Pena believes Impact DataSource's $5,000 total price provides value given a one time analysis by an outside firm would cost $900 to $1200. I look forward to seeing this software used on the city's various agreements. Will it compare MedHab's promised vs. actual jobs delivered?
Later in the meeting the question arose as to when the City should terminate agreements with no activity. Staff mentioned MyMail as one needing to be closed. Look for this item to return to the agenda sometime in the next three months.
Possibly the most interesting development regarded the airport redesign. The City submitted a change order to the FAA for the airport's exterior in December 2012. Due to an FAA change the city must go back to square one in seeking public and airline input on the change order. This is a sixty to ninety day process, which is just beginning again.
The Airport exterior change order will cost $270,000. The Airport Director said he would not ask for additional COSADC funds but requested the board consider endorsing a $185,000 line of credit. He said he'd bring back more information in the next meeting.
Under staff reports Pena said he was working to create efficiency. He mentioned the dedication of a portion of the half cent sales tax to street maintenance and asked the board to remain aware of this possibility. Also, the Texas Governor's Office will be invited to BRC-partnership meetings.
Staff recommended pursuing a site certification for the City's Industrial Park. This is done through McCallum-Sweeney, a site selection consulting company. They help companies looking to expand or move. Here's what they examine for employers:
In addition McCallum-Sweeney works for organizations, like COSADC.
• Sites and/or building suitability
• Site preparation
• Utility infrastructure (availability, capacity, cost, reliability)
• Transportation infrastructure
• Labor markets (availability, quality, costs)
• Training resources and delivery
• Education (primary, secondary, postsecondary)
• Financing opportunities
• Quality of life (e.g., medical services, housing availability and cost, etc.)
• Leadership and political climate
Site Certification/Assessment – One of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business is the demand for certified industrial sites. Companies looking to build new facilities want sites that are ready to go and relatively risk free. MSC will design and implement a relevant certified site initiative to help communities identify those sites that are most ready for development. MSC has designed and managed many of the nation's most significant site certification efforts. This experience enables us to know the challenges of establishing a successful program – we know what works and what does not. MSC knows what the sponsoring organizations need to do to create the buy-in and participation necessary to make the program a success. We can help you design an innovative and effective certified site program to meet your goals.
Pena did not mention any cost to this certification in the meeting. We'll see if it arises in the future.
COSADC staffer Bob Schneeman informed the board that the Industrial Park is lacking underground power, other than one phase power to operate street lights. During the sales process the City indicated three phase power to be already underground. He said there would a cost to run three phase power to Cased Hole Solutions and he would bring this item back to the board.
Lastly, staff indicated the company developing the Grand Court Residences decided not to apply for funding and would not be using the $200,000 COSADC loan. Those are a few of the highlights.
There was no mention of Hirschfeld's performance on the economic development agreement, considered by City Council in Executive Session on April 15th. MedHab did not come up either. Stay tuned for developments on either front.
City Council met this week and COSADC stood front and center on two issues, city insider conflicts of interest regarding economic development funding and the street maintenance funding via the half cent sales tax. The Development Corporation and Council will intertwine heavily the next few months. It will be interesting to track.