No Legal Charter for Italy EDC

Image: Schwab informs Italy EDC — Carlton Schwab, President and CEO of Texas Economic Development Council provided information to the Italy EDC.

Schwab informs Italy EDC — Carlton Schwab, President and CEO of Texas Economic Development Council provided information to the Italy EDC. (Karen Mathiowetz)

In a meeting Tuesday night, it was reported that the Italy Economic Development Corporation had not had a legal charter since 1999. This was brought to their attention this week. According to the Texas Secretary of State, the Italy EDC filed Articles of Incorporation on November 8, 1996 and had a tax forfeiture on February 12, 1999.
“We need to get things straightened out,” said President Mark Stiles. “We will do whatever it takes to get the proper papers filed with the state as soon as possible.”
Carlton Schwab and Danny Booth from the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) shared information regarding 4A and 4B taxes. Italy passed the 4B tax in 1996 to be used for promotion and development of fire protection facilities and equipment and any other purpose authorized by Section 4B.
At present, the state does not allow the tax to be used to pay for municipal buildings or fire equipment. The EDC is allowed to pay for the fire truck purchased in 2003 because it is grandfathered.
The TEDC provides training in different locations in the state every year and assists local EDCs to know what programs they are allowed to spend their funds on.
“One of the best things you can do is invest your money back into the infrastructure for retail water and sewer,” Schwab told the board.
Mayor Jackson said that the city spent $20,000 this year on infrastructure. The 4B tax will generate between $54,000 and $59,000 this year. Total sales tax for the city this year will be approximately $200,000.
“The board has always tried to do what the citizens asked us to do,” said Mark Souder, Sr. “That is why we bought the fire truck — that is what the citizens passed the tax for.”
Booth explained the EDC could not use 4B funds to build a new fire station because that is not an eligible project per the state.
“In order to know what businesses might come to your area, get leads from the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Doug Barnes from the Waxahachie EDC or get on the state distribution list,” Schwab explained. He also told them to get everybody on the same page by having a meeting with the city council, county judge, county commissioner, school board, fire district board and the EDC. There is a meeting scheduled for October 6, 2008 for the EDC, Italy ISD Board, Italy City Council and the Fire District Board.
“Being located on IH 35, you could not be sitting in a better place,” Booth added. He stated that some distribution centers would like to be in a smaller area which would make Italy ideal for relocation. One way to lure new business to Italy is to provide infrastructure.
The board approved a fire truck payment in the amount of $26,798.03. They also approved the 2008/2009 budget of $80,000. The budget will be presented to the Italy City Council in a called meeting on September 16, 2008.
Nick Kinze stated it could cost up to $3,500 to get the EDC reinstated with the state. He will prepare the documents to submit to the state as soon as possible.
Stiles stated that without objection from the board, he would pay the fees for all board members to join the TEDC. He also said he would like for Mr. Kinze to look at all the EDC depositories so the board could discuss keeping all the money in Italy.
The members of the EDC are President Mark Stiles, Vice-President Mark Souder, Sr., Secretary/Treasurer Nick Kinze, Diego Garcia, Jason Escamilla, Randy Boyd, and Tina Haight.