One of my major concerns about strategic plans that are developed for a multiyear time period is that they invariably do not anticipate changing economic and social phenomena.
Case in point: Although the Cuero Development Corporation Strategic Economic Development Plan, October 2011, did state, “The largest opportunity and challenge presenting itself to Cuero today is the Eagle Ford oil and gas play,” there was little discussion about those impacts.
Now, when the CDC Strategic Economic Development Plan 2015-2018 was developed, there was a brief mention of the impending demise of the oil field activities.
Sales tax remittance is the lifeblood of the CDC. The voters approved that ½ cent of the 2 cents that the city received in sales tax remittance is to be utilized for economic development.
In the sales tax table, it can be noticed the impact predominately from the Eagle Ford Shale activities is reflected at its peak in 2014. Yet in just two years (2014-2016), the reduction of Eagle Ford Shale activities was largely responsible for a decrease of more than $1,400,000.
Over a several-month period, the CDC developed a framework for the development of a new strategic development plan. After reviewing five proposals, the Cuero Development Corporation chose Alysia A. Cook of Opportunity Strategies, of Austin, to complete this endeavor.
Started in March, this four-month project will provide for:
- Community assessment
- Other strategic plans review
- Workforce/education analysis
- Public input meetings
- Target industry analysis
- Commercial and industrial property analysis
- Retail strategy development
- Business retention and expansion
- Incentives review
- Marketing analysis
- Organizational structure analysis
The Cuero Development Corporation is hosting two public listening sessions for Cuero residents this week to accommodate a variety of schedules. Cook, the project consultant, will facilitate each session. She will ask Cuero residents what types of retail, commercial and industrial jobs and opportunities they would like to have in Cuero, as well as opinions on what would make Cuero an even better place to live, work, play and visit.
The meetings are 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday and 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Cuero Public Library. To RSVP, call the CDC office at 361-275-8178.
Opportunity Strategies will be assisted by Ray Methvin, of Insyteful, which will be responsible for the targeted industry analysis as well as the website/online strategy. Rickey Hayes, of Retail Attractions, will assist on all things retail.
Once the plan is adopted in July, it will provide a blueprint for action for the next three years.