Glen Rose Economic Development Corporation awards grant to Bernas

Travis M. Smith -- @travis5mith
Glen Rose Economic Development Corporation awards grant to Bernas

For what may very well be the final time during the upcoming fiscal year, the Glen Rose Economic Development Corporation met to address two-minor-agenda items.

Bernas Food and Catering owners John and Ronda Kirkpatrick made a formal request for financial assistance from the GREDC, by way of a $2,400 grant to be paid-out at $200 monthly for 12 months. The grant will provide the owners with the flexibility to hire a part-time employee, and the employee can then use his or her additional income to buy things in the community, such as gas, food, and housing, according to Ronda.

“It is just for the wages for an employee to help with the preparing of the food, tortilla machine […] and things like that,” said Ronda during her request. “We are working our tail-end off, and then some.” She also added that while they would like to hire additional employees down the road, they would like to hire on “immediately.”

“This [grant] will certainly help us put more payroll back into the community, as well as expand our business,” John said.

The request did not come without discussion, and even reluctance from one voting member.

“I know I am not in the populace with this, because I am in the thinking that if we are going to do this, then we need to do it for [all of the businesses],” Jesse McClure said. “How else are we going to be fair?”

Despite McClure’s strong stance, the four voting members present voted three-to-one in favor of the request, with McClure the lone member against awarding the grant. The grant – which is the structured the exact same as the one’s being paid-out to La Vita Italian Restaurant and Frozen Yogurt Your Way, will not begin prior to Nov. 1, according to city secretary Christy Badilla, as it requires the current grant with La Vita to expire.

The proposed 2015-16 budget as presented to the Glen Rose City Council on July 28 during the regularly scheduled council budget workshop, was the only other official item on the agenda. GREDC Vice-President Rick Villa made it clear to the board members present, that because the bond payment for the upcoming-fiscal year is increasing by $30,000, “the only thing we are really having to budget is that $4,800 [granted to two new and expanding business.]”

After several minutes of dialog, Badilla informed the members that “the bylines do not say that you have to meet once a month, but they do say that you have to meet once a year to approve the budget.”

“The bylines don’t say that you have to meet once a month, but they do say that you have to meet once a year.”

The budget, which was “a slam dunk,” according to Jane Young, was passed four-to-zero. The GREDC, which currently has an opening for an unpaid, volunteer position to serve as a board member, will only meet again prior to the one-year requirement if asked to vote on an agenda item by the advisory board, Villa said.