The Economic Development Corporation took to Council chambers on Monday for a brief meeting that would outline its current plans to partner with the City of Seminole and the M.S. Doss Foundation to fund a proposed Splashpark at the City Park. Enthusiasm for the project ran high among board members, who committed an initial offering of $200,000 toward construction.
Enthusiasm ran so high, in fact, that the board was unanimous in its decision - save for one "No" vote from Board Secretary Sammy Zamora. Zamora's vote reflected only the fact that he would have increased the amount committed by the SEDC toward the estimated $1.2 million project. Some board members answered that the possibility of additional funding could accompany a more advanced phase of the project at a later date. The target for beginning construction is October, in order to have it ready for the summer of 2015.
"Quality of life is kind of my thing," explained Board President Michel Powers, one of three Board Members who represent the City Council. "we've never really worked on a quality of life project like this before."
Before making the motion to commit to the project, Board Vice-President Chet Clark admitted to a somewhat lukewarm reception to the idea initially, until visiting a similar facility in Andrews and seeing the kind of reception that it had gotten from residents of the city and surrounding areas. Operators of that park told Clark that they had served as many as 900 visitors in a single day. Board Treasurer Kyle Sodd echoed the sentiments of his fellow council representatives, recalling occasions when younger children had had to be turned away from swimming at the teenaged members-only M.S. Doss Youth Center, near the proposed site for the development.
In other business, SEDC Executive Director Mike Tolleson explained the need for a makeover of the group's website. Tolleson had opened bidding to to four different web developers and got responses from two. One of those, the Richmond, Texas-based EZTASK, which claims more than 170 municipal and K12 websites on its resume' , was selected unanimously by the Board, at a cost of $3,995.
Presenting his sales tax summary during his Director's Report earlier in the evening, Tolleson noted a slight decrease of 3.3% for the month in sales tax collections in the city, the first real slowdown in a year that remains up by 12% to date. The SEDC is funded by a half-cent of each tax dollar collected, and holds about $2 million in reserve.
Tolleson also encouraged board members to join him in attending an upcoming Sales Tax Training Workshop in August 22nd, conducted in Lubbock by the Texas Economic Development Council. He will also attend the June 29 High Ground of Texas event in Odessa. That organization focuses on national and international marketing, and the monitoring of legislative issues that may affect local economies.
It's public business completed, the Board entered into closed session to end the day before re-opening the doors and moving to adjourn.