Local NewsGovernment WhatsApp ODC to review downtown grant programs Twitter Facebook Pinterest Pinterest Previous CoverageThe city’s economic development board plans to review a program that offers grants funded by taxpayers as incentives for sprucing up downtown buildings to see if the program created about two years ago is proving a worthwhile use of the public money and if it needs to be tweaked.The Odessa Development Corporation and the Odessa City Council created two programs offering downtown grants to businesses in early 2016. One grant incentivizes façade improvements in the long blighted area and the other matches infrastructure investments in downtown buildings.Both were pitched as temporary programs aimed at encouraging downtown redevelopment, coupled with the construction of a downtown hotel and convention center supported by a more than $30 million public investment. Construction is still underway on the hotel, expected to open in early 2019.On Thursday, ODC board members said they wanted to examine the grant program.“It’s’ time to before we get into the thing of saying: Well, it’s always been done this way,” ODC President Betsy Triplett-Hurt said.Questions included whether the downtown boundaries should be altered. The boundaries approved by the council in 2015: from First Street to 10th Street and Adams Avenue to Bernice Avenue.Initial discussions of the grant programs involved plans to focus on a core area surrounding the convention center site. But as it stands, all businesses contained in the downtown boundary can apply.“There are businesses south of the track that are closer to the convention center than Texas Tech (University Health Sciences Center ) is,” ODC board member Gene Collins said. “Why were they not included? I think we need to have more discussion on that.”The newest ODC board member, Ted Tuminowski, questioned whether funding the program at all is proper for a board formed in 1998 to develop and diversify the economy after voters approved the creation of a 4A sales tax.“It’s a wonderful program,” Tuminowski said. “I just don’t see how we can use ODC funds for it.”When the City Council and ODC approved the programs in 2016, it did signal a significant shift in the way the city invests the sales taxes it collects for economic development. But each board, and the city’s attorneys, deemed the programs justifiable uses of the funds because they promote the city as a place for business, which the law allows.“The aesthetics of a city is promoting the city,” Collins said. “…If it looks up to date and modern and clean and you see happy faces, that goes a long way to promote it. So people want to go to a town that’s progressive, that’s good for their family, that’s a good environment.”The law allows economic development agencies like the ODC to spend up to 10 percent of their revenue for promotions. The ODC’s budget for this year estimates more than $8.4 million in sales tax revenue. The ODC also funds marketing and a small business challenge classified as promotional expenses.The city came close to hitting the 10 percent mark in early 2017, but was able to draw on money budgeted in previous years for promotions but never spent.And part of the ODC review called for tallying funds spent on the grant programs so far.The decision to review the program came as the ODC considered a façade grant application by Crenshaw Flooring at 615 E. Eighth St., on the eastern edge of the downtown boundary. The owner requested a $30,000 grant, which is the maximum amount for an individual grant, available for buildings of exceptional size or on corners. The owner also planned to invest more than $51,000 privately in the new exterior.The ODC decided to a delay a vote on the grant until March. WhatsApp Facebook By admin – February 10, 2018 Twitter Previous articleConcert to benefit Camp Fire West TexasNext articleCharity crawfish boil admin
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… Warren Creavalle, Emery Welshman and Samuel Cox make return DEVONTE Small, Daniel Jodah and Jelani Smith will make their International debut after being named in Guyana National Senior Men’s squad by head coach Wayne Dover for the Golden Jaguars’ November 14 International Friendly against Trinidad and Tobago at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.Jodah and Smith play for Canadian professional club Sigma FC while Small, a former stand-out at the University of Oregon, only this year signed his first pro-contract with Reynir FC in Iceland’s professional ranks.Jelani SmithIn total, the squad consists of 15 overseas-based players, while forwards Dwain Jacobs and Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, along with Anthony Benfield are the locally based players called by Dover.“One of the four additions is a young, talented Central Defender – Smith,” Dover said, adding, “We have been short of Central defenders as of recent and although we have identified talent, the likes of Jeremy Garrett and Cecil Jackman, who will emerge as leading defenders in the future, we’ll focus on using the new-found talent for the Trinidad game.”Kadell Daniel, who burst onto the scene as a hot-shot forward for Guyana at the U-23 level, will be making his return to the Golden Jaguars for the first time since 2015.Looking ahead to the clash with Soca Warriors next Tuesday, Dover stated that a tough game is expected, “where Trinidad will bring it to us, especially since they’re coming off a 2-1 victory against the United States. They should be confident but we’re preparing for that. We will try to give a good account of ourselves, give a good match and get a positive result.”Meanwhile, a 24-man local-based squad has begun training in preparation for Guyana’s International Friendly against Indonesia, with Dover pointing out that “fitness is currently our number priority. Analysis of our previous match against Grenada revealed a number of areas in the team’s performance that can be improved. Such areas included our crossing ability and our execution of combination play. Nevertheless, we have used this knowledge to develop a new training regimen”.Daniel JodahThe overseas-based players, who are all in peak shape from playing in ongoing seasonal matches with their respective clubs, will join the locally based team members in Trinidad.The Golden Jaguars are set to depart for Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow for their November 14 date with the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s National Team at the Ato Bolton Stadium.TEAM: Samuel Cox (captain), Christopher Bourne, Warren Creavalle, Emery Welshman, Anthony Benfield, Kadell Daniel, Jake Newton, Akel Clarke, Andrew Durant, Jelani Smith, Terence Vancooten, Brandon Beresford, Dwain Jacobs, Daniel Jodah, Shaquille Agard, Gregory Richardson, Sheldon Holder and Devonte Small.TECHNICAL STAFF: Wayne Dover (Head Coach), Charles Pollard (Asst Coach), Lyndon France (Physical Trainer), Eon DeVeira (Goalkeeper Coach), Denzil Hernandez (Physio), Trevor Burnett (Kit Manager) and Rawle Adams (Manager).
DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoFor the first time in three games, the Badgers answered their scoring questions Sunday afternoon, but their efforts went unrewarded as they fell in their Big Ten opener to Ohio State, dropping a 2-1 decision in overtime.After being shut out 1-0 in each of its previous two contests, B.J. Goodman tallied a goal for Wisconsin, but for the fourth straight game, the team was defeated by a one-goal margin.”It’s another one of those frustrating games,” UW captain Aaron Hohlbein said. “We’ve had too many of those I think. We need to make things easier on ourselves. It was a tough game, we played well, but still, we’re not winning games.”The Badgers entered the match looking to take advantage of a fatigued Buckeye team enduring a similar spell to the skid that they have encountered. Things were looking up for them when the game went into extra time, but a good job of substitution kept the Buckeyes fresh and helped them prevail.”I thought we played pretty well, yet I still think that we can do better going forward,” head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “We’ve got to score more than one goal. We can’t let a team who’s played five games in 10 days come in and get a win.”After two days of good practice following their loss to Northern Illinois, the team looked more focused Sunday than it was on Wednesday. But while the Badgers created more chances than the Buckeyes, they still had trouble finding the back of the net.After a slow opening 20 minutes, the teams picked up the pace and Goodman gave the Badgers some early momentum with a shifty goal in the 39th minute.Ohio State coughed up the ball to the sophomore midfielder deep in their own territory. Goodman then made a move around another defender before pocketing the unassisted goal low in the far corner for his first tally of the season.”I thought he had a pretty good game for us,” Rohrman said. “He’s been striking the ball pretty well — much better than he has in the past.”Wisconsin rode that momentum into the break, but the Buckeyes tied the game in the 57th minute. OSU forward Kevin Nugent tallied the equalizer off of a low cross through the box from midfielder Ryan Kustos.The Badgers then had their fair share of chances in regulation time.Dirk Pearson got his head on a ball off a free kick, only to see it just miss the goal to the right in the 61st minute.Minutes later, redshirt freshman Victor Diaz was denied point blank by OSU goalie Ray Burse, Jr. and Goodman got his best chance of the second half in the 68th minute, but the ball sailed high over the crossbar.Then, with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation time, Christopher Ede found himself in close quarters to a goal, but Burse came up with another big save.Ohio State’s senior goalkeeper finished the game with five saves, four of them coming down the stretch in the second half.Meanwhile, UW keeper Jake Settle saw only one shot on goal other than Nugent’s strike after the half.The Buckeyes didn’t waste any time, however, capitalizing on lax Badger defense just 4:51 into the first overtime. Brent Rohrer took advantage of a turnover and two-on-one break, slipping past the defense and firing the ball out of the reach of Settle.Rohrman and the Badgers had called this game a must-win earlier in the week, but again they came up short in heartbreaking fashion.”We’ve had some really tough losses this season,” Rohrman said. “We’ve lost two by own goals and we’ve lost two in overtime. Those are things that can certainly wear at you.”Wisconsin will look to bounce back from the loss on Tuesday afternoon when the team travels to take on in-state rival UW-Milwaukee.