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Wood County Industrial Commission

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Legislative session considers Rural economic development
By JOHN SPARKS

Meeting in regular session Thursday, January 8 at Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Winnsboro Place, the board of the Wood County Industrial Commission (WCIC) heard a report on the 2009 legislative session from Laurie O'Neal of the Governors Office and named appointees to a committee to recommend improvements to the group's web site.
Laurie O'Neal, an East Texas (82 counties) representative of the Governor's Office was on hand to review the upcoming Texas legislative session. The session will consider several proposed economic development bills on rural economic development bills. One proposal backed by the Governor's Office is the establishment of a $10-million "Texas Capital Fund" like that would be designated for rural initiatives without the administrative burden associated with Community Development Block programs.
Chairman Imogene Davis appointed Neal Duncan (Hawkins), Shane Shepard and Glen Davis as a committee to suggest improvements to the WCIC web site. The committee will develop Requests for Proposals as well as a list of prospective vendors.
Executive Director's Report
WCIC Executive Director Gary McKinley reported that Ozarka Spring Water Company (Hawkins) was in the process on rehiring all the employees that were laid off in November 2008.
Tourism impact data gathered by the Governor's Office for ED&T has posted the 2007 tourism impact data. Based on estimates, Wood County had 391,111 visitors in 2007, up 13.6% compared with 2006. Hospitality employment was up 4.65 percent in the same yearly comparison.
Holly Lake Ranch Cabin Rental (Silverleaf Resorts, Inc.) and Hidden Lake Hunting Resort are now contributors to Wood County's Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenues (4.0 percent).
McKinley also reported sales tax applications for new businesses in Wood County during December 2008 totaled 11. Mineola led with four new business applications. No new filings were made for Hawkins or Holly Lake.
The next meeting of the Wood County Industrial Commission is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, 2009, 7 p.m. at Ranchero Buffet in Mineola.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2009 18:06  

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