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Section A: General News


FEDC strives to solve ‘Grande’ problems


FEDC strives to solve ‘Grande’ problems
Floresville Economic Development Corp. board President Andy Eubanks reviews a map of the El Rancho Grande Industrial Park on F.M. 537 southeast of Floresville during the board’s June 10 meeting.


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Wilson County News
June 19, 2013
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FLORESVILLE -- Preliminary estimates are that it could cost as much as $1.7 million to complete suitable roads and retention ponds in the Floresville Economic Development Corp.’s (FEDC) El Rancho Grande industrial park on F.M. 537 southeast of here. This is according to Treasurer Jason Talley at the corporation’s June 10 board meeting.

Talley said it would cost approximately $829,000 to create roads suitable to accommodate the heavy-truck traffic associated with current and future occupants of the more-than-300-acre complex. He also said it could cost an additional $695,000 to complete retention ponds that were recommended in a drainage study.

This is why the FEDC had discussed the possibility of pursuing a loan. But board President Andy Eubanks said the corporation does not have adequate funds that would allow it to collapse its bonds and pay off existing loans. Based on a soft budget that only considers recurring income and expenses, the corporation’s annual net income is $397,700.

Based on a 3-percent interest rate, the FEDC only might be able to obtain a 7-year loan for $1 million. According to Eubanks’ estimates, annual payments on such a loan would be $267,600, inclusive of principal and interest, leaving $100,000 for discretionary expenses and $30,100 remaining as surplus.

Also relative to El Rancho Grande, the board met in closed session to discuss the sale of approximately 4.39 acres in the park’s northwest corner to F&W Electrical Contractors Inc. The company already owns an adjacent 23-acre parcel. Interim FEDC Executive Director Raymond “Ram” Ramirez said after the meeting that when F&W purchased the property years ago for just $10, it came with the understanding that the FEDC would construct a road around the park’s outer perimeter. But instead, the corporation only installed two perpendicular roads that meet in the center of the park, resulting in F&W’s property having no road access.

No action was taken on this matter.

In other business, the board discussed the Veterans Business Park on Paloma Drive in Floresville. Hifam Investments, LLC, which is building the Texas Health and Human Services building there, recently billed the FEDC $7,370 for electrical infrastructure work performed at the site. This was after the firm alleged that former FEDC Executive Director Jesse Perez -- in the presence of FEDC consultant Vicente Griego and Ben Wiatrek of the Floresville Electric Light & Power System -- verbally committed the corporation to covering that cost.

The board voted to pay Hifam, subject to confirmation of Perez’s promise via sworn statements from both Wiatrek and Griego.

“How many more of these surprises do we think are out there?” asked board Secretary Mary Helen Tieken.

Board member David Strozier said he already had received a call about a promise Perez made that related to building a fence. Ramirez on June 3 received a letter from Parke Patterson Land Development related to the 250-unit Oakland Hills Apartments complex being built near the corner of Paloma Drive and U.S. 181 Business. In the letter, the firm alleged that water and electricity services were not available at the site and that it had to spend $95,000 to extend those services.

Ramirez acknowledged that a miscommunication might have occurred, since there indeed were water and sewer connections present prior to the start of construction. The board voted to have attorney Howard Berger draft a response, in which the FEDC would offer to meet and discuss the matter in person.

In attendance: Board members Andy Eubanks, David Strozier, Ray Lamberth, Mary Helen Tieken, Jason Talley, and Mike Herry; Interim Executive Director Raymond “Ram” Ramirez, Floresville Mayor Diana Garza, and city Councilman John W. Guerrero.

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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Spec Ops  
Wilson  
June 26, 2013 8:07pm
 
Word is Zafarini plans on retiring and Cuellar has been pushing to have Rene appointed to her seat for the remainder of her term. The only good thing about that is that we would rid him of being here and hopefully would get ... More ›

 
Eric  
Floresville  
June 25, 2013 9:24pm
 
Don't people realize that the more our FEDC board digs the more they find! Sadly local attorneys Lou Rosenberg and Dominic Carvahal enabled Perez and Tejada to do the things they did.

 
Eric  
Floresville  
June 25, 2013 9:19pm
 
Pena does hear us he just ignores us! He has a grudge, and a Latino political connection to take care of based out of San Antonio. When their man did not get the FEDC job so he could cover up perez's blunders they had to take ... More ›

 
TigerLily  
Floresville  
June 24, 2013 10:10am
 
Do you hear us Mr. Pena? The previous FEDC director and members need to be investigated. How can we citizens encourage the Texas Rangers to stay and start this investigation? Why do we have to wait until you decide what you ... More ›

 
Delightful  
Downtown  
June 24, 2013 9:15am
 
The next time Fred "Q" attends a council meeting to laud Joslin's work....ask him these questions about the FEDC - he was there - he was Perez's best bud!

 
Eric  
Floresville  
June 24, 2013 8:38am
 
I would love to hear from the former FEDC treasurer. Things need explaining why were things allowed to be handled in the manner they were (what did Tejada, Gomez and Perez threaten you with) The entire former board owes the citizens ... More ›

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
June 24, 2013 6:43am
 
You are so right Eric. I do not understand why more people are not screaming at City Hall for what has happened. We are in a mess and we are fighting a residency battle? This says a lot about Rene Pena. We need to stand up and ... More ›

 
Eric  
Floresville  
June 23, 2013 8:11pm
 
Mr. Eubanks is a banker if he says fedc can barely pay a one million dollar debt think what shape we would be in if Tejada and Gomez had gotten their way. People need to realize that Jim Miller's "big mouth" was ... More ›

 
TigerLily  
Floresville  
June 21, 2013 11:12am
 
I just finished reading the full article. No wonder the FEDC is in such a mess. Former director Jesse Perez made some back door deals that they are now having to pay for. No paperwork found? I agree with Mrs. Tieken, how many ... More ›

 
In the know  
Floresville  
June 20, 2013 7:07pm
 
I was a little insulted by the comment made by Not a Resident that our city is a "litter box". But you know what? The city is dirty when it comes to politics. How many times did our citizens ask Rene Pena to investigate ... More ›

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