Wimberley creates Economic Development Council

by Chase Rogers

Wimberley City Council members voted to create the Economic Support and Development Committee Friday, July 17, to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic on the city.

The ESDC will work in an advisory capacity to draft a strategic plan for supporting businesses and city projects, report their findings and status to council and seek out any applicable grants for the city.

Included in the ordinance is a repeal of both the Downtown Improvement Task Force and the Tourism Committees. According to Wimberley Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Minnick, this restructure allows for an increased focus on the pandemic’s impact.

“(The Downtown Improvement Task Force) identified a lot of the issues and we’re working on those. However, the COVID situation has changed the landscape for us a little bit, and because it’s so important for us to protect and support our businesses, it made sense to me that we should restructure that committee and turn that into an economic support and development committee,” Minnick said.

The new committee will be made up of nine members and four subcommittees. Minnick, who worked with Councilwomen Teresa Shell to draft the ordinance, said anyone can work on the committee given the applicant is approved by the council.

“Members will not be subject to specific criteria. If we have local experts, we can put them on (the committee). If you own a business or you don’t own a business, or you work for a business and you have the skill set that we need, you would certainly be welcome on this committee,” Minnick said.

The subcommittees of ESDC will focus on supporting local businesses affected by the pandemic, economic growth in the Old Kyle Road and Oak Drive areas and improving connectivity among communities, specifically the sidewalk projects to connect businesses not currently in the downtown district.

Minnick said the goals of the subcommittees will change as projects complete, adding that tourism will be a focus once covid’s effects have lessened.

The committee will meet monthly once members are selected and will not hold public meetings, working in an advisory role for the council. For more information on the committee, Minnick can be reached at place1@cityofwimberley.com.

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