Plan for Growth

Brownfield Industrial Development Corp. will pursue the possibility of additional land purchases in the coming year for a new industrial park to spur local economic development. That was one of the goals set forth by BIDCorp director David Partlow in his annual program of work, as presented Monday to his board of directors.

Partlow said Brownfield is uniquely located on the South Plains and enjoys unprecedented highway and railroad access, which is attractive to a multitude of industries and he thinks the city needs more options to recruit businesses to the area. “We are revamping our first industrial park as a winery park and our second industrial park has only 20 acres left in it,” he said during the meeting. “So I am going to spend some time exploring where to find some properties we might acquire to be able to offer those to businesses looking to move here.”

Additional goals set by Partlow and approved by the board include recruiting businesses needing office space to move into available spaces in and around Brownfield’s downtown area and also developing a retail recruiting program to attract further retail establishments. “I think we need to look at going after retail businesses,” Partlow said. “That is instant funding for the city. Two months after they open, the city has income from sales taxes collected.

“We are limited on what we can do for retail and commercial right now, but we will have a planning session soon to develop a retail recruiting program and implement it starting next fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2016). The heart of that plan will be to put on the May ballot asking citizens to vote yes or no for us to use 4A monies to work on retail and commercial projects. On that ballot will be a list of what we plan to do. So the voters of Brownfield will decide if they want us to go after retail or not.”

BIDCorp was established as a 4A, which can only recruit manufacturing, wholesale, distribution industries, while 4B corporations can do everything a 4A can do, but also recruit quality of life projects and also use funds for recruiting retail and commercial projects.

He told the Brownfield News following the meeting that BIDCorp’s emphasis remains on recruiting industries to town, but bringing retails outlets also serves residents. Retention and expansion of existing businesses is another key aspect of Partlow’s plan of work for the coming year. “We will continue to work with local companies and be ready to help them with expansion in an effort to create new jobs,” he said. The director added that he maintains strong relationships with managers of the local railroad company and stays abreast of trends that could affect the local economy. He intends to increase his one-on-one visits to existing companies in and around Brownfield to see how BIDCorp can help fill their needs.

Marketing also is a big part of Partlow’s plan of action for BIDCorp to get Brownfield’s name in front of site developers and company executives. His efforts will include print advertising, broadcast advertising, web site development, direct mail and attending trade shows. “All of this is just an overview of what I will be working on with you as board members,” he said. “We will be meeting soon to delve into each of these ideas more thoroughly.”

In routine business the board approved minutes of previous meetings and financial statements for the months of August and September. Board chairman Randy Anthony presided and board members present were John Lochridge and Mike Swaringen. Absent were Judy Besler and Trey Didway.

Article Courtesy of the Brownfield News

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