By David Tuma, Publisher
The Belton Economic Development Corporation has been very instrumental in assisting the City of Belton in expanding and improving their current infrastructure. It isn’t an easy task to grow and maintain in a community.
BEDC is providing funds (1.5 million) to run a water line to the Lampasas River. The city is running the sewer lines a major investment. For businesses located in this area, running water lines at great distance can and will prohibit growth. Belton’s investment in sewer lines was substantial.
“We have worked with prospects in this area before. Adding water along I-35 was a big expense added to their plans,” said Cynthia Hernandez, Executive Director BEDC.
Turning off Powell Street turning left onto Loop 121 is just not possible certain times of the day. BEDC is assisting the expansion of Ave. D into the Business Park. This gives the area which includes Scott and White Clinic another access point.
Parents from Chisholm Trial Elementary add to the traffic of the Business Park as many cut through, trying to avoid traffic congestion. Construction and design of this project is worth $2.4 million. This expense includes water and sewer lines expanding the area for possible business location.
“Once the road opens up in the business park, this opens areas for development. The school and home developers tie into this,” said Hernandez.
A big project coming up is a sewer expansion along I-14 (Hwy 190) near where it connects to Loop 121. Phase one is 1,500 feet and connects with Business Park with highway 190 with sewer and water. Phase 2 is a 6,000 foot expansion. This opens up a large area for retail development along the new interstate.
East Street will see some major improvements near downtown to both the roadway and the sidewalks. The City of Belton could not get a grant for this project and BEDC is funding the $350,000 project.
An effort is being made by area educators in both public schools and colleges to bridge the gap between educators and employers. Several meetings have taken place between businesses and educators facilitated by the P20 Council which Hernandez was the Chairman.
One of the surprises was when one employer complained that allowing students to be late and eating at their desk in the middle of class was a no-no. They can’t do that in the workforce why do you allow that.
“The interest in our business parks is strong.”