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Public input key to grant application, says EDC VP

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Community input at an August 4 hearing is crucial to the success of a city grant application, says Bandera Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Vice President Laura Devenport.

The City of Bandera will be applying for a Texas Community Development Block Grant Program (TxCDBG) grant, which is a pilot program from the Texas Department of Agriculture, and tomorrow’s meeting will allow the public to discuss citizen participation plan, the development of local housing and community development needs, the amount of funding available, all eligible activities and the use of past TxCDBG funds.

“The more support that the citizens of Bandera exhibit, the more favorable the City's grant application will be viewed by the Texas Department of Agriculture,” said Devenport.

The grant application process concludes on August 31, and one of the conditions of the application is that the city holds a public hearing for input.

Thursday’s meeting hopes to identify community needs and give ideas for possible projects, according to the EDC’s website.

There are two elements to the grant.

Under the first part, the city would receive  a $50,000 grant to hire an economic development firm to assist the city/citizens of Bandera to create an economic growth plan. The EDC has agreed to fund the necessary $5,000 matching funds for the grant. The goal of this element is to develop an implementation plan for enhancing the economic growth of Bandera.  This plan cannot address the needs of infrastructure.

The second part would include a noncompetitive grant of possibly up to a $1,000,000 to implement the plan, program etc. 

“This could include anything,” said Devenport. “I know we are all suffering from lack of employees and skilled service trades people that are critical to our tourism industry. A training program for these would be great to coordinate with the school district.  Or how about an environmentally low impact manufacturer of a product that supports the tourism industry?  The ideas are endless.”

Devenport says you do not have to have to be a citizen of the City of Bandera to issue a comment.

Comments can be issued in person at the meeting on Thursday or through email prior to the event to  secretary@cityofbandera.org.

The meting is scheduled for 5:30 at Bandera City Hall.