Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 8, 2013

AEDC makes requests

City Council to consider extra money for special business grant program

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens City Council heard a request from the Athens Economic Development Corporation during its  Wednesday workshop to provide extra money for the Entrepreneur Grant Program.

The item was one of several matters expected to appear on the agenda at the next regular meeting of the council at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

AEDC President Brian Malone said the requested $30,000 would allow the corporation to help all three of the finalists that made presentations to the board at the close of the 8-week Start Your Business Seminar.

If the council approves the change, the AEDC will be able to help Athens Bowling Center with $30,000 as originally budgeted, as well as provide $20,000 for the Ice House Events Center and $10,000 for Three + One Color Protection.

When the finalists made their presentations at the April 16 meeting, Amit Desai’s proposal for Athens Bowling Center was judged best. The board met again on April 29, and voted to reward each of the finalists.

“When the board scored them, there was only a point-and-a-half between first and third,” Malone said. “After some discussion and looking at it, the board really felt that all three warranted something.”

The funds will be in the form of a reimbursement for money the entrepreneurs have spent on the projects.

“This is a one-time situation,” Malone said. “When we look at the program next year, we don’t know that we would be funding three again.”

The Council also heard from Marlin Smith of Smith, Lambright and Associates on the annual budget report.  Smith said the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2012, with the city in a good financial position and with good working capital. The city had $9.3 million in operating expenses for the year. After all revenues were added, the city had a net of $405,000.

“If the city was a business, that would be your profit,” Smith said.