The EIC had requested that the BDA sign an agreement to govern the use of $50,000 in administrative funds that had been awarded to the authority.
The BDA will use the money to pay administrative costs associated with hiring John Longoria. The Beeville native is to help BDA Executive Director Joe B. Montez with economic development efforts in the months ahead.
BDA staffers said they had not seen the agreement until earlier on Monday and the authority’s attorney, Tom Beasley, said he was recommending that the BDA not sign the document.
Beasley said he has spoken with City Attorney Frank Warner and both agreed that even though a document would be needed to accompany the grant from the city’s 4B sales tax funds, it did not need to be a detailed performance agreement.
Beasley said he thought a simple interlocal agreement would work just fine.
City Manager Tom Ginter told the EIC board that he saw the need for more discussion on the agreement.
“I think it would be a good idea to let the BDA people express their concerns,” Ginter said.
Beasley said Warner had spoken with Texas Municipal League experts on 4B sales tax legislation and they had agreed that the contract between the BDA and EIC did not have to be lengthy.
Beasley called the agreement before him “a well-crafted, lengthy document.”
But he said there would be some concerns among BDA board members about signing the agreement.
Beasley said he had prepared a rough draft of a simpler agreement that he thought could replace the other document.
EIC board member Jessy T. Garza suggested that Beasley speak to Austin attorney Jeffrey Moore concerning what type of document would be best.
“I agree with you that there are different ways to deal with it,” Garza said. He told Beasley that the EIC relies on Moore’s counsel on 4B sales tax questions and he would prefer that Beasley negotiate the wording of a document with him.
EIC board member Dave Moore questioned the need to use Jeffrey Moore’s services. He asked if there might be a local attorney who could handle 4B sales tax questions.
Beasley said Warner had used his TML contacts to save the city money.
When Garza suggested just turning the question over to Jeffrey Moore, Dave Moore asked how much the Austin attorney charges for his legal services to the EIC board.
No one at the meeting knew the answer. But EIC Board President Jody Alaniz said the corporation never uses the attorney’s services without first contacting him.
At that point, the EIC board voted to table the matter until Beasley and Moore could come up with a better document.
After tabling the agreement, Dave Moore asked, “Can we talk about the warehouse?”
He was referring to a request from the BDA for $1.2 million in 4B funds to build a $1.8 million warehouse at the Chase Field Industrial Airport Complex for Kay and Associates and Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance.
The BDA has requested that the EIC sell bonds to raise the funds but some at City Hall have opposed taking on more debt to be paid with 4B proceeds.
The city is already paying off more than $800,000 in bonds it sold to finance an earlier BDA project at Chase Field.
“We know we got the grant,” Moore said of a $645,000 stipend approved last week by the Texas Military Preparedness Commission. “What’s the best way to go about this?” he asked.
Ginter explained that there had been some discussion between the BDA and City Council about how to make the funds available.
Last week members of the Bee County Chamber of Commerce heard about the expected economic impact from the 175 new jobs the warehouse would create at Chase Field.
“The bottom line is that we’re all in agreement that we’re going to fund it, but we need to know how,” Moore told his fellow board members.
The matter ended when Garza and Alaniz said any formal discussion on the subject should be conducted during a meeting at which the subject is on the agenda.
In other business, the board agreed to approve a request from the Beeville Masonic Lodge at 210 1/2 W. Hefferman St. for $6,000 to help pay the cost of repainting the building and from Illusions, 800 N. St. Mary’s St., for $4,745 to help finance improvements to the front portion of that business.