The Van Alstyne Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Community Development Corporation (CDC) may soon be combined under a plan proposed by the Van Alstyne City Council.
If approved, both organizations would be overseen by a seven-member Community Development Board, which would serve as the governing board for both organizations.
It’s a move that both development corporation leaders seem to welcome.
“When I became president of the EDC, I quickly realized that there were some economies of scale that can be gained,” David Sileven said
Of course, while the CDC and EDC are similar, they still have different goals.
The EDC focuses more on attracting and supporting industrial and manufacturing businesses.
The CDC’s mission is more retail- and community-development focused.
That said, there are many instances when the two groups work together, particularly when companies are looking to relocate to Van Alstyne.
Ultimately,l both organizations are working to bring more jobs to the area and grow the local economy. That means there are many projects on which they should be able to partner.
“The thinking here is that it will basically inspire cooperation between the two boards, but they both will remain separate,” CDC Director Rodney Williams said. “It will really just make everything more efficient and speed things along.”
Of course, those two boards will be made up of the same seven people.
Under the proposal, both organizations would retain their separate budgets, agenda, meetings and decisions. However, the same directors would make decisions for both.
Additional resources will also be pooled together. Currently, the CDC has a paid director and administrator. However, the EDC has to this point been a completely voluntary effort.
“That’s not how it was designed to be, but just because things have worked out a certain way, that’s how they are now,” Williams said.
Sileven said that the EDC will benefit greatly from the additional help. He’s proud of the work his team has done with projects like expanding the city’s industrial park, but they definitely need more support as the city grows.
By essentially combining both organizations, he believes it will both increase efficiencies and make better use of taxpayer dollars.
“It’s going to be a win for the city to spend less but get more,” he said. “It’s two plus two equals five. Bringing these two together is going to do more than just the two of them working independently.”
The city has created an application portal for the new board.
In order to stay in compliance with the law, even current board members of both organizations will need to reapply if they want to be on the new board. Others interested in being on the board are welcome to apply as well.
Once the application deadline has passed, the Van Alstyne City Council will evaluate the submissions and appoint new members.
If all goes as expected, both organizations will probably meet once more this month before the new board is installed.