The Mineral Wells City Council recently approved the selection of a seven-member board of directors for an economic development sales tax non-profit corporation.
Board members selected were Mineral Wells Mayor Mike Allen, Mayor Pro-Tem John Upham, Don Crawford, Beth Watson, Phil Garrett, Harris Brooks and Brad Wilkerson.
“As a requirement of the city’s 4b economic sales tax proposition which passed in May, I would like to see the initial board appointed for two years,” said Lance Howerton, city manager.
The proposition allowed for a reallocation of an eighth-of-a-cent of the city’s sales tax, about $4 million in public funds, that will go towards the redevelopment of the Baker Hotel, a $56.2 million restoration project.
Howerton explained that selecting board members is the first step, and the next step is establishing a non-profit corporation known as the Mineral Wells Community Development Corp. which will oversee proposed activities for redevelopment.
Once that is done, the city can move forward to secure the funding for property tax relief, which includes land, buildings, equipment, facilities, expenditures, targeted infrastructure and improvements to promote new or expanded business enterprises and economic development, including the renovation and restoration of the Baker Hotel, as described in the downtown redevelopment plan proposal.

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The corporation will make strategic plans for evaluating and assessing the existing business district and nearby neighborhoods and it will provide a prioritized implementation plan with a time line for the redevelopment projects.
Howerton said the Baker Development Team, comprised of Southlake businessman Laird Fairchild, financial director, and Chad Patton, team partner, indicate they are on schedule with acquiring investors and have been completing a feasibility study. They hope to get the project started in the first quarter of 2015 and Howerton hoped to have more to report soon.
In another matter concerning a rate increase for the city’s natural gas provider, the council approved the 2014 cost of service adjustment filing of Texas Gas Service, a division of One Gas Inc. The adjustment comes to about a $2.48 increase for consumers, which is actually less than the original proposed adjustment of $4.25, reported Howerton.
In consideration of an ordinance providing for temporary street closures Thursday and Friday, July 31 and Aug. 1, to facilitate the filming of “Daylight’s End” by Daylight’s End LLC Film Productions, as requested by Police Chief Dean Sullivan, the council approved the recommendation for the closures in the central business district.
In the last order of business, the council approved the reappointments of existing council members to the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2 Board of Directors.