Industrial commission gets a new name

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By ZAK WELLERMAN

news@woodcountymonitor.com

The name change of the Wood County Industrial Commission was approved at last week’s Wood County Commissioners Court. The new name is now Wood County Economic Development Commission.

The name change was proposed by the WCIC board of directors after the board discussed suggestions from Wood County Judge Lucy Hebron’s blue ribbon task force.

The task force suggestion was to name the organization Wood County Economic Development Alliance. The WCIC board agreed with adding economic development but wanted to retain commission in its August board meeting. 

Hebron thanked the task force for its hard work in making suggestions toward improving the WCIC. 

“One of the recommendations was that we modernize the name of the Wood County Industrial Commission to something different, something a little more current,” Hebron said. “I believe your (WCIC) membership came up with the name Wood County Economic Development Commission, which is more encompassing and a little bit more up to date.”

She then noted that the WCIC bylaws state that amendments to the bylaws only need to be approved by the county judge before implementation.

“I know this court for many years has followed a certain procedure of bringing proposed amendments to the court for the commissioners’ consideration. I put it on the agenda today as a courtesy to the Industrial Commission and also as a courtesy to my county commissioners; however, I would have to refer the public as well as members of the Industrial Commission to article seven of their current existing bylaws,” Hebron said. “And the power to amend, repeal, modify, change or dissolve any type of amendment to their bylaws rests in the members upon agreement, known as voting; however, the changes, and I quote, ‘must be approved by the county judge prior to implementation.’ Not the commissioners court, the county judge. And I’m going to go ahead and insist that from this point forward we will follow the bylaws as they have been written and not what’s been done here in this courtroom in the past.”

She then approved the name change and asked for a ceremonial vote by the commissioners.

Also in light of the task force suggestions, WCIC board also recommended reducing the board to 18 members maximum instead of 23, introducing term limits of up to three consecutive two-year terms and new mission and vision statements. These changes have not been placed on the commissioners court agenda yet.

In other action, WCIC hotel feasibility study was also approved in court. The study, which will be done by Source Strategies, will take a look at six rural areas within Wood County to see if a hotel could be sustained.

The cost of the study is $9,250 and should be complete within four to six weeks. 

Additionally, a rental agreement with the City of Winnsboro for the city auditorium for the November constitutional amendment election on Nov. 5 was approved. 

A Transunion Risk and Alternative Data Solutions contract for the Wood County Sheriff’s Office was approved by the court. The program is a database for identifying suspects and victims.

An interlocal agreement between Wood County and the City of Hawkins for street repairs, materials and mowing through Dec. 31 was approved as well.

Commissioners approved updated rules of procedure, conduct and decorum for the meeting of the Wood County Commissioners Court. Hebron explained that the update was made due to changes in the Texas Open Meetings Act under House Bill 2840.

A public hearing for the closure of County Road 1125 was set for Oct. 4 at 10 a.m.

Commissioners and Hebron proclaimed the week of Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in Wood County. 

A resolution from Meals on Wheels to authorize the county grant program for fiscal year 2020 was approved. 

The treasurer’s report and the release and replacement of certain securities were both approved. July Constable reports also were approved.

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