By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
As part of a campaign to “tell our story,” Pat Vanderpool, executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation, talked about four areas in which he is pursuing economic development opportunities on Aug. 27 at an EDC’s board of directors meeting.
Vanderpool said his current efforts are focused on local marketing, workshops for local businesses about what the EDC can do, marketing in the Texas panhandle, and quarterly membership luncheons.
Local marketing, Vanderpool said, will consist of using more ways to reach Tucumcari and Quay County residents with information about what EDC is doing.
“We’ll talk about as much as we can without compromising our position” with businesses that rely on confidentiality in dealing with the EDC, he said.
Vanderpool said he also hopes to host workshops on the ins and outs of the Local Economic Development Act, the Tucumcari ordinance based on a statewide model that governs the EDC’s actions on projects and business assistance.
“It’s complicated,” Vanderpool said of the LEDA. “There are a lot of rules and regulations we have to follow.”
Workshops on LEDA, he said, would help educate residents and businesses on how to navigate LEDA’s complexities.
A recent Amarillo television news story that was critical of the Tucumcari EDC, Vanderpool said, “gave us a black eye” for businesses in Texas, Vanderpool said.
As a result, he said, he plans to increase efforts to reach Texas businesses.
“We don’t want to steal business from Texas,” he said, “but we might be able to help increase the supplier base” for Texas-based firms.
Vanderpool said that hosting quarterly membership luncheons would be an opportunity to review financial reports that the EDC will be submitting to both the city of Tucumcari and Quay County, and to update members on progress on EDC projects.
Other matters discussed at the EDC board meeting included:
• a regional workshop to receive public views aboutthe freight component of the state’s Year 2040 transportation plan that will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 12 at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
• A home ownership workshop scheduled for Sept. 16 WHAT TIME?at the Tucumcari Convention Center in which homeowners can learn about grant and loan opportunities to upgrade homes to improve energy efficiency and safety.
• The regional election to approve a quarter of one percent gross receipts tax to finance an indepedent emergency communications dispatch agency in Quay County.