WCIC approves sponsorship for Lake Fork fishing tournament

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The Wood County Industrial Commission (WCIC) will be a sponsor for the second annual Department of Public Safety Bass Fishing Tournament at Lake Fork.

At its monthly meeting on March 7, the WCID board agreed to give $1,000 to the tournament. This sponsorship will give WCIC recognition in tournament materials. The tournament will be held May 11.

Alba representative and Lake Fork Marina owner Ken Donahue told the board the DPS’s first tournament last year had roughly 400 to 500 people in attendance, including DPS personnel and the general population.

Also regarding sponsorships, the board decided not to sponsor KMOO radio’s news or weather reports. Directors thought advertising for specific events, such as fishing tournaments, would be a better use of funds.

Richard King, interim director of the Soules College of Business Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute at the University of Texas at Tyler, presented information on resources to help economic development in nearby counties, such as Wood County.

King told the board the institute received a $500,000 grant to pursue an increase in economic vitality of a nine-county area over the next five years. Phase one of the plan would help Smith, Wood, Gregg and Van Sandt counties. Phase two would benefit Anderson, Cherokee, Rusk and Upshur counties.

“Most of these counties have opportunities to grow and from an economic standpoint, income, employment, increase in vitality relative to the state,” he said.

King described programs that offer trainings on effective business strategies, statistics on economic development, marketing ideas and giving college students projects to work with local businesses.

WCIC Chairman Gerald Elliott told King the board would discuss businesses that could benefit from the institute and send a list in the near future. King thanked WCIC Executive Director Kiki Bettis for her efforts in getting him to present to the board.

Reports

In the chairman’s report, Elliott said the unclaimed capital credits (UCC) funds sub-committee needs to meet to discuss funding before the board meeting in April. The committee set a date for March 21 at 4 p.m. in the Wood County Airport board room.

A meeting for the website committee to discuss upgrades was set for March 28 at 4 p.m. in the Wood County Airport board meeting.

April 11 at 4 p.m. was scheduled as the date and time for board training with Alysia Cook of Opportunity Strategies.

In the executive director’s report, Bettis told the board she will be attending Texas Economic Development Council’s women in economic development conference in Waco on April 4. She will also go to a grant writing course held in Fort Worth in May.

Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT) fund project applications will be available from March 11 until May 24 at 5 p.m.

Bettis gave an update on finding out if there are local lodging establishments not paying county hotel occupancy taxes. She explained that Wood County tax assessor Carol Taylor has open record requested the state comptroller’s office to find out what county lodging entities are not paying their local taxes. Taylor and Bettis are comparing the list of county lodgings they have with the state’s list to determine who should be paying to the county.

The host agreement for the Bassmaster Toyota Texas Fest at Lake Fork from May 2 to 6 was presented to commissioner’s court. Each city in the county will have a booth to promote their community during the event.

The consent agenda consisting of January meeting minutes and monthly financials for January and February was approved.

Next meeting will be held April 11 at First United Methodist Church in Quitman.

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