Around 80 community leaders and Greenville Chamber of Commerce members attended Hunt County Days at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, today. The day was packed full of meetings, a reading of House Resolution 310 for the John Horn Memorial Parkway proposal, along with discussions from various agencies around the state.
Randy Hopmann, Director of District Operations of the Texas Department of Transportation spoke to the group on how the TxDOT works with the state legislature.
“I’m so glad you all are here today,” he said. “As many of you know, TxDOT is funded by the gas tax. It’s nice to have that predictable revenue so we can do some great work on our infrastructure with that money. It’s a large program, in fact, and we will be spending around $75 billion over the next ten years to improve our roads in Texas. Right now we are looking at the studies for Interstate 30 through Hunt County to possibly make it a six-lane highway, however developing additional lane travel can take up to eight years.”
Carlton Schwab with the Texas Economic Development Corporation stated, “We’ve had a good run with the Texas Legislature of fighting off any changes to economic funding. That’s a good thing. It allows Greg Sims from your community to do what he needs to do to attract industry for Hunt County. The successes of Greenville, Texas, are showing as you continue to attract more companies to the area and create new jobs all the while working with the economic funding given to you.”
Josh Sanderson of the Equity Center spoke to the group about education funding.
“What do you think are the two hot buttons in education at this time,” asked Sanderson. “One is the state is not doing their share and we have to do something about the recapture (Robin Hood) debt.”
This week lawmakers are expecting to review an Education Funding Policy, however, the last school finance reform failed to pass in 2017 according to Sanderson.
“We are hopeful this year the legislature will get it done,” he said.
Cole Hubbard with Travel Texas spoke on tourism. Hubbard is the research coordinator for the publication. Hubbard offered the group opportunities on how they can get involved in marketing and advertising the amenities of their cities. Greenville went through a recent assessment program through Travel Texas and the report stated, “Greenville has a dedication to the arts and culture for such a small community.”
“The sports complex was very impressive as well,” said Hubbard.
Kim LeBlanc from the Texas Film Commission spoke on keeping films and commercials in Texas.
“Not only does film and movies help with economic development, but also film making creates jobs,” said LeBlanc. “Having a film company produce a film in your community is a huge injection of revenue and you never know when you just might have the right location or the right backdrop a film company is looking for.”
It was a great day at the Capitol and Hunt County was well represented. I met a lot of great people from Hunt County while covering the happenings of the day. And I can tell you they are all very passionate about each of their communities and took time out of their day to promote and develop the county by meeting and learning from various lawmakers of the great state of Texas.