Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why do we need it now? We haven’t had it all these years? Due to an organization such as this not being able to be funded all these years, the local entities handled developer inquiries as they came in. The hurricane brought many changes, challenges and opportunities to our communities. For example: Community Block Development Grants - Disaster Recovery Grants, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) projects, Hazard Mitigation Projects, Opportunity Zones are naming some of the programs and processes available to our communities. With this project list, coupled with developer interest for all three harbors, it is now time to grow responsibly and make right decisions. This organization would be the buffer needed to gather data, make recommendations, and work through projects. It would be the organization structured with policies and procedures and government oversight to better handle what we will be up against as we continue to recover and rebuild our community. This formalizes what we had before, its reporting process and accountability. Read more about the EDC; opportunity, one stop shop, funding/structure, make no assumptions and we need to drive here.
2. How much will this cost? How will we pay for it? A draft preliminary budget can be viewed here. Preliminary indications reveal a budget of $150,000 annually would allow for the organization to form and run. In the budget, line items show government (LGC) and private donor support (EDC c 6). The proposed organization structure is listed in the DRAFT bylaws here.
3. Will this compete with my business? The organization will operate under statute which requires it to adhere to the Open Meetings Act. It will be required to post agendas, meetings will be open to the public, etc. Through this governance structure and process, you will be able to monitor what the organization is working on to voice your opinion.
4. How are you going to measure the performance of this? There are industry standard performance measures. Review by clicking here.
5. How can I be involved? Here is a link to a survey that asks questions where you can be most helpful. Please complete as soon as possible: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eg2ulmlbjrqer1sc/start
6. What is the job description of an ED staff person? What do they do? Read over the form here as it explains what an Economic Developer does.
7. How do you identify the targeted companies? What is the process? Through the programs available to our community because of the hurricane, we potentially have grants to contract with a company that can do an inventory assessment, market analysis and leakage study to determine what areas you need to grow and are capable of growing in according to the needs of the community. Click here for a document explaining the process.
8. When is all this going to happen? On page 6 titled “Getting Organized” of the powerpoint here, you will find the process of putting an organization such as this together.
9. Will I experience a tax increase? We are capped out at the sales tax rate so this is not possible. This type of organization has no taxing authority.
10. It is my right to have a referendum on this. Most Economic Development Organizations are incorporated as 4A or 4B Corporations and this requires a referendum vote because it imposes sales tax. We are capped out and not able to do this so a referendum vote is not needed.
11. I am concerned about what type of companies will be recruited. It will be targeted industries that fit and compliment the needs of this community.
12. What does a One Stop Shop refer to when speaking of the EDC? An Economic Development Organization is developed to be the one stop a developer or business owner looking to come to the area will need. This allows for an equalized process. The same information and assistance is given to anyone inquiring about the area.
13. What cities and towns around us which have EDCs? Click here for the Texas Economic Development Handbook. Scroll to pages 5-8 for a list of cities currently under 4A or 4B tax districts of which our community is not eligible.
14. What is the latest update on the EDC? The formation of the LGC and the EDC has already been approved by the Town of Fulton and the Aransas County Commissioners Court. The City of Rockport and Aransas County Navigation District will vote on May 14 and 20, 2019. The diagram flowchart below explains the organization process:
15. Why does the Economic Development effort need to have two entities - an LGC and an EDC? It comes down to a way for it to be funded. Our community is unique in that many donors want to contribute towards projects. Those donations have to be received in the correct tax structure. In lieu of contributions written directly to the government entity or to a charitable organization, the contribution can be given to the LGC which then contracts for services with the EDC. Through the prior established interlocal agreement, the LGC will be held accountable to that donation.