Possible Changes On the Way for the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A battle is brewing in Big Spring involving changes that Big Spring Mayor Tommy Duncan wants to make to the Economic Development Corporation. Right now, the EDC uses a portion of the city's sales tax to retain and attract business to the city, but if City Council approves the Mayor's proposed changes, the organization's revenues could be deeply impacted.

Mayor Tommy Duncan wants to change the Economic Development Corporations status from a 4-A to a 4-B organization. If city council approves that change, the city will be able to tap into the EDC's funds for projects, other than attraction and retention of businesses and industry.

Mike Henry, with KBYG Radio in Big Spring, says the issue has been lighting up their phones lines.

"The ability to bring new business in. It would be more of a crippled organization to be able to do things like that," Henry said.

You'll remember back in May, Big Spring voters agreed to allow 40 percent of the organizations funds to pay for improvements to the city's water treatment and waste water treatment facilities.

But with the new potential change, EDC officials say all of their revenues would be drained impacting economic development in the city.

"It's tied into our airpark, where we are having a new rail spur developed there, which will attract other business to our community. Some people say that it's not a good time to be reorganizing the Economic Development Corporation.

NewsWest 9 tried to speak with Mayor Duncan and also the President of the EDC but they both were in meetings all day regarding the issue.

According to Henry, the Mayor's objective is clear.

"He believes it will open the EDC to not only doing what it does now, but to also do other projects so he sees it as a positive move whereas others aren't seeing it so," Henry said.

Many residents NewsWest 9 spoke to were against the proposal. Sandra Parrott has been a Big Spring resident for 32 years and she believes there should be a compromise that both parties should agree to.

"You know there's gotta be monies for both sides. I just don't think we should drain just for one thing," Parrott said.