By Jan White
CROCKETT – During their meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, board members received the financial statements for the month of September that showed the payoff of the entity’s loan with Prosperity Bank. In a previous meeting of the Crockett City Council, the council members gave their approval to the CEIDC to use its funds to pay off the loan with Prosperity. The balance of the loan was what remained of a debt incurred in association with the City of Crockett to help renovate, repair and upgrade the property formerly used as the state school.
In other business, Executive Director James Gentry spoke to the board about updating the organization’s website and asked Gary White to address the board regarding plans for the revision. White reported that he and Gentry had met with a retired graphic designer, Debra Purcell, who offered to look at the website and help the CEIDC reorganize and update the site. White stated that Mrs. Purcell had experience designing and implementing websites and was willing to do pro bono work on the site. Mrs. Purcell related to White that after the meeting with Gentry and White, the website’s administrator had given her the login, and she had been making a list of the pages and suggested changes and updates that would need to be made. First on the agenda would be to update the board of directors and their pictures and delete some of the antiquated content and news information, but White emphasized that there would be no deletions or modifications in the website material without board approval. Purcell stated that she will be the “mechanic” and furnish the labor, while the board and employees of the CEIDC will provide the “parts” or content for the site.
“Basically, she’ll come up with a Word document that will track changes,” said White. The board was enthusiastic about having the website updated.
Gentry and Wade Thomas also told the group that this would be an opportunity to share upcoming economic development events or news that might be of interest and inform the community about what is taking place with the CEIDC.
Other agenda items included a discussion of the economic development property currently leased by the Mary Allen Museum. CEIDC attorney, Bill Pemberton, was on hand to answer questions regarding the contract. In question was the museum’s request that the economic development board allow someone to occupy the Heritage House building owned by the CEIDC and leased to the museum to house artifacts and information from the historical Mary Allen College.
All the board members expressed concerns about someone occupying the house. President Gerald Barclay stated, “That was not the intent that we went into the contract with them. And that brings up a whole different can of worms.” He then asked Pemberton to address the issue of occupying the building. Pemberton told the board that if they were to have someone occupy the house, changes would have to be made to the current contract the CEIDC has with the museum. “You’d have to change the prevailing use on the lease, tenant would have to take the property as is, you’d have to change the indemnity line. And the way the lease is written, you have another 24 years on it. So you’d have the responsibility for the foundation and the roof repair for another 24 years. I don’t know how old that house is, but it wasn’t built yesterday.” Other points in the lease would need to be removed, “such as insurance and right to sue for damages and potential liability for attorneys’ fees.”
The board continued to discuss the question of a person occupying the house. Eventually, it was agreed that since such occupation wasn’t part of the initial contract and would be a liability to the CEIDC, they would not approve the request for residency.