The Development Corporation of Snyder decided to hire The Mike Barnes Group LLP of Blanco to provide interim directorial services after outgoing Executive Director Brooke Proctor leaves June 30, until a new permanent director can be located.
Although the paperwork won’t be signed until sometime this week, the board approved the contract for 90 days.
Barnes will reportedly conduct DCOS business himself, rather than an employee, albeit remotely with the aid of executive assistant Michelle Welsh. The Barnes Group will receive $2,500 a month for the service, plus an additional $400 stipend each time Barnes must make the trip to Snyder on the DCOS’ behalf.
According to DCOS President Bill Robertson, the DCOS board, and not Barnes, will continue its efforts to recruit and hire a permanent director.
The board met in closed session to discuss business prospects, as well as purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property. Larry Price and Chance Britt of Britt Trucking Company, Inc., in Lamesa joined the board during the closed-door discussion.
Upon their return to open session, board members voted unanimously to “continue negotiations.”
The board heard a report on the Snyder Thrives grant program from Proctor and from program counselor C’Ella Clayton.
The program has provided $2,000 grants to 20 local businesses, with the requirement that half of each grant must be used to market the business. The remainder could be spent on on other business expenses.
“For their strengths, everyone said customer service is number one for them. They really try to drive that home, and their connection to the community. They all are always trying to do a really good job with that,” she said.
Clayton said that many of the businesses are planning to use the grant money to improve their visibility in the community. Keeping good employees and fear to make improvements due to increased property taxes were other weaknesses for the businesses, she said.
DCOS President Bill Robertson discussed the possibility of using incentives to direct new businesses toward vacant properties throughout Snyder.
Robertson spoke about a recent conversation with Russell Galahan of the State Comptroller’s Office.
“We got to talking about using these 380 programs (tax incentives) to develop growth around the community,” he said. “Instead of everything located down by Wal-Mart, start pushing some growth east, north, west, the square certainly, and what we’re calling “Upper College,” which is here (the square) to 35th Street. It would come with different criteria. For example, Kim’s Shoes. You come to town, and you’re looking at the south, but wait a minute. If you can find a building over here on the east side, and put your business over there, then this criteria might be — and this is just completely off the top of my head — five years, 50 percent rebate on your sales tax.”
Snyder City Manager Merle Taylor quickly added that the program would apply only to city sales tax.
“It’s not a giant chunk of change, at all, but it is a chunk of change. Which is a business-friendly thing to do,” Robertson said.