City scores high marks with economic development summit
By LPR Staff
The City of Lockhart scored a home run with several members of the community after Friday”s Economic Development Summit.
The five-hour event drew about 150 residents and visitors, all hoping to learn more about Lockhart”s economy, how that economy will be affected by the impending construction of SH 130, and how to foste
r – and most of all manage – that growth.
“It”s very simple,” said former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, the event”s keynote speaker. “The key to economic development is quality of life. If you don”t have the quality of life, businesses, and their employees, are going to locate elsewhere.”
Lockhart Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram closed the summit by challenging the community to be “economic development ambassadors.”
“I heard a story from a woman down in Houston who was talking to a neighbor, and the neighbor was telling her how nice [another area community] is,” Bertram said. “The lady wound up driving through one day and remembering all the good things her neighbor told her… She looked around and fell in love with the town, and then bought a house there.”
The point of Bertram”s story was that every time someone talks about Lockhart or Caldwell County, that person could be talking to a prospective home buyer or business owner.
However, one local resident in attendance questioned Bertram”s challenge.
“How can we be “economic ambassadors” when we have [certain elected official] running Caldwell County down every chance they get,” asked George House. His comment was directed at an official that noted that Caldwell County does not currently have the infrastructure to support the level of development that SH 130 is going to bring.
In all though, the city received mostly positive feedback from the summit.
“We had two goals we wanted to acheive,” said City Manager Clovia English. “These were to bring the most current information to the public and to further community-wide cooperation. We feel we were successful in both of these.”
English said that the city would plan additional summits in the future.