The Brownfield City Council met in. regular scheduled meeting on Thursday morning Oct. 14, 2021 to discuss and consider several agenda items. After the initial call to order, invocation, and pledges the council went into the regular agenda. There were no public comments and the Council approved last meetings minutes.
The Council went to item 3 to conduct a public hearing concerning a request to change some property from a residential zone to a commercial zone. On October 12, 2021, the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) held a public hearing concerning changing 2 lots located at 304 E Lanny (block 16 lots 1 & 2 of the Oak Grove Addition) from two-family dwelling district to general commercial district. The City Council must hold a public hearing after the planning and zoning commission held their meeting. There was no public comment or concern during the public hearing so the council went to item 4 to approve the change which was recommended by the PZC. According to documents the obtained the newly zoned property will be for a future restaurant. The change was approve unanimously.
Moving on to items 5 & 6 which was to hear and consider the monthly financial statement and monthly investment report. Under the City Charter, the Director of Finance which is the City Manager Jeff Davis shall submit to the Council a monthly statement of all receipts and disbursements in sufficient detail to show the exact financial condition of the City. Likewise under the City of Brownfield’s Investment Policy, the Davis shall have a monthly investment report to be prepared and presented to the City Council showing returns from the investment program. The reports shall comply with Section 2256.023 of the Public Funds Investment Act at a minimum. See both charts below to see the monthly finance and investment reports.
The Council then heard from Brownfield Industrial Development Corporation (BIDCorp) Director Brian Brisendine. BIDCorp is required to give the Council an annual “Program of Work”. Brisendine gave spoke to the Council about the 2021-2022 Program of Work and said, “Our mission which always the same is to promote the development and expansion of new business in Brownfield.” Also according to Brisendine, the Program of Work has not changed in past several years, except the BIDCorp Board and himself added to the list of “Areas of Developement” the “Tourism Corridor”. Brisendine explained to the Council the amount of people who travel through Brownfield, specifically on US Highway 380 going west to Ruidoso NM. “The purpose of the tourism corridor being added to the areas of develpoement is so we can continue to clean and promote the down town area of Brownfield.” said Brisendine.
According to Brisendine the Rialto building located at 406 West Main has about 99% of the outside work done on it and they look to see the new sign lit up soon. Brisendine and the board will next talk about the inside of the building to determine their next move on that. Brisendine was asked about the news of the TDCJ Jim Rudd Unit closing. He said, “They have around 140 employees, however there is just a small fraction of those who are impacted live here in Brownfield, we just haven’t gotten those numbers yet. ” Brisendine made mention that BIDCorp and BISD are hoping to have a job fair real soon to help alleviate this issue. Councilwoman Michelle Cooper asked about the rumors of the guar plant closing and Brisendine replied,”What we have found out so far is they have suspended operations, however they are suppose to come back online bigger and better.”
Here is a copy of the BIDCorp Program of Work:
BIDC 2021-2022 Program of Work
To promote the development and expansion of new business in Brownfield
Areas of Development
- Business/Industry Attraction
- Business Retention and Expansion
- Workforce Development
- Tourism Corridor
- BIDCorp will work to create a business climate that fosters economic wealth for the community through business/industry attraction and expansion
- BIDCorp will encourage business/industry to locate in Brownfield for the purpose of creating new jobs and increasing the tax base
- BIDCorp will continue to market Industrial Park #1 as the High Plains Winery Estates for development of grape/wine related businesses
- BIDCorp will continue to market Industrial Park #2 as the Jack Cargill Industrial Complex to attract business/industry with railway needs
- BIDCorp will develop an evolving list of available property/buildings/land for relocation of business/industry
- BIDCorp will continue to recruit agriculture related manufacturing and value added businesses to Brownfield
- BIDCorp will develop a recruiting program reliant on data to showcase the community’s value to national retailers
Retention and Expansion
- BIDCorp will work to meet the needs of existing local business/industry to facilitate growth and maintain a local presence
- BIDCorp will work with local businesses/industries and be ready to assist with expansion and new job creation
- BIDCorp will stay abreast of economic changes and trends on the South Plains, the Panhandle, the Permian Basin, and across Texas
- BIDCorp will maintain positive relationships with local companies/management
- BIDCorp will maintain positive relationship with the Texas Workforce Commission for insight into potential workforce training/recruiting initiatives
- BIDCorp will develop criteria for financial incentives dedicated to expansion/enhancement of local businesses
- BIDCorp will establish and maintain a marketing program for business/industry recruitment using a variety of marketing tools, to include print advertising, broadcast advertising, website development, direct mail, and trade show paraphernalia.
- BIDCorp will monitor locally available properties and produce marketing fliers available upon request
- BIDCorp will maintain updated demographic data
- BIDCorp will foster and maintain relationships with governmental agencies, non profit entities, and local schools to establish workforce training and educational opportunities in high demand fields for local students and residents to grow our available workforce key to industrial and business recruitment and retainment.
- BIDCorp will continue to work to promote/recruit/support the downtown area and courthouse square as a vital part of the community
- BIDCorp will continue to develop properties we own in the downtown area with the goal of revitalizing long-abandoned spaces into attractive, usable retail locations
- BIDCorp will continue to refurbish the Rialto Theater to make it a bright spot on one of our city’s busiest thoroughfares and transform the century-old building into a working asset for our community and a revenue source for our organization
The Council moved on to discuss and consider placing a temporary ordinance “ORDINANCE NO. 2124” for a 90 day temporary moratorium on building/constructing/placing carports on residential properties. In a previous Council meeting there was discussion on carports in the city of Brownfield. The Council decided it would be a good idea to change the ordinance of carports so there are specific rules that property owners would need to abide by in order to get a permit to build one on their property. The Council voted 7-1 to approve the 90-day moratorium, the descending vote cast was Councilman Michael Tackitt.
Next on the agenda was to discuss a change on the Parks and Recreation Board. In June of 2020 the City of Brownfield eliminated the Public Works Director position which was one member of the Parks and Recreation Board. The Council needed to approve this ordinance is to appoint the City Secretary as a member of the board in place of the Public Works Director and help with meeting agenda and minutes along with proper posting of agendas.
The next item of business also pertained to the Park and Recreation Board as there needed to be one more citizen added. Under the City Code of Ordinances, the City Council is to appoint one member to the Parks and Recreation Board and Terry County is also to appoint one member to the board as well. The county commissioners will appoint one member and the City Council is to appoint one member. The appointed board members will be appointed for two-year terms. It is the intent of the city council that members shall, by reason of the diversity of their individual occupations, constitute a board which is broadly representative of the community. This member must also be a resident of Terry County and shall serve 2-year terms. The Council appointed Justin Hesse.
The Council moved on to the next agenda item which was to appoint one member to the Planning and Zoning Commission to fill the vacancy left by John Fields. The City Planning Commission shall review and recommend to the City Council changes to the text of the Zoning Ordinance, changes to the Official Zoning Map and approval of special uses. The Council appointed Tony Isaacs to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Council would then approve and extend the disaster declaration due to public health emergency to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the City of Brownfield. City Attorney Matt Wade advised that the City continues to extend and copy that of the State of Texas disaster declaration. The Council unanimously approved the measure.
The Council would finally go into executive (closed door) session. The Council would be in executive session for about 30 minutes, however there was no action taken from the closed door. The meeting was adjourned and all eight members of the Council were present. The next Council meeting is slated for tomorrow Friday October 15, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Noon to discuss and consider the resignation of the Assistant City Manger/City Secretary.