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JTEDC Board approves night skies lighting grant

JTEDC Board approves night skies lighting grant

Board receives report on coalition of businesses

The Board of the Junction Texas Economic Development Corporation (JTEDC) held its monthly meeting on December 1 and addressed two applications from businesses for a grant for night skies friendly light fixtures, a strategic planning session, and routine administrative matters.  The board also received a report on efforts by the Coalition of 21 Businesses to attract shoppers to Junction.

Board members present were Kimberlee Gosney, Carol Neiman, Polly Robinson, and Hal Rose.   Absent board members were Marlene Case, Doug Haynes, and Tom Rattan.  The JTEDC’s mission is “[t]o attract, retain, and grow businesses and jobs and improve the quality of life in Kimble County.” As of the end of November the board had $675,176 available for expenditure.

In support of Hill Country Night Sky Month this past October, the board voted to make a grant available to local businesses for retrofitting or replacing light fixtures to make them more night skies friendly.  This type of lighting can help prevent light pollution into the skies, as well as horizontal light pollution trespass on one’s neighbors.  Watching the night skies unpolluted by artificial lighting is becoming an increasingly popular attraction for visitors to the Hill Country.  In this regard, the South Llano River State Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park.

Rose made a motion, seconded by Neiman, to approve a grant application for night skies friendly lighting fixtures, for up to $2,500, from Ruthie Sepeda for the Lone Star Gallery.  The motion passed by a unanimous vote.  Action on a second grant application from Duke Gould for the Junction Burger Company was postponed pending receipt of additional information.

The board will hold a strategic planning session during January with the date to be determined.  Topics for consideration include assisting local businesses and entrepreneurs; continuing the Clean-Up Junction campaign; improving coordination between the JTEDC, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tourism Board; assessing and improving JTEDC financial assistance programs; and attracting new businesses. The session will be open to the public.

Myndi Jameson reported on a mailing made by a Coalition of 21 Businesses to attract shoppers to Junction.  The Coalition used the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service provided by the U.S. Postal Service for a fee.  According to the Postal Service, EDDM “can help you send postcards, menus, and flyers to the right customers” using census data for targeting purposes (e.g., select by neighborhoods, age, income, or household size).  Jameson, who is the local postmaster, reported that a recent mailing was successful in attracting a wide range of customers to Junction for shopping.  She and Natalie Kothmann were instrumental in organizing this marketing effort.

The businesses in the Coalition of 21 that participated in the “Shop Bridge to Bridge – Main Street” event during November 6-7 were:  The Gun Shop, Jazzy Cowgirl, West Bear Creek, Holekamp’s Junction Warehouse Company, Simply Generations, Teresa’s Candles, The Honey Bean Coffee & Tea Company, Meals on Wheels Resale, Artisans on Main, Sassy Senorita Boutique, Cowboy Cottage, Rafter 95, Heinrichs Art Studio, Angela’s Resale, Lone Star Gallery, Hill Country Sporting Goods, Pulse Adventures, Designs by Darla, The Bee Hive Junction, Myndi Jameson Travel, and Junction Farmers Market

The minutes of a prior meeting and financial reports were approved by the board.  The JTEDC is funded primarily by a one-half cent city sales tax, and the purposes for which this revenue may be expended are governed by state law.

The JTEDC Board’s regular monthly meetings, which are open to the public, begin at 5:15 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the City Meeting Room at 102 N. 5th Street.   Meeting notices are posted at the JTEDC Office, the City Offices, and the outdoor bulletin board at the Police Department.  In light of the board’s strategic planning session in January, as described above, a regular meeting will not be held during the month.

This article was written by James Murr and published in The Junction Eagle on December 9, 2020. Click here to read more from The Junction Eagle.