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Bonham Economic Development Corporation staff ranks 2017 Top Ten Accomplishments
By Steve Filipowicz, Executive Director, Bonham Economic Development Corporation
Jan 1, 2018
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Bonham -- As 2017 rounds the clubhouse turn, enters the home stretch and dashes toward its ‘Finish Line’ it is my long-standing custom to take just a few moments to reflect on our Bonham & Bonham Economic Development Corp. (BEDCo)-related accomplishments.

Each year this list serves a two-fold purpose; part of this is commemorative in nature as we take stock of what has been achieved during the preceding year. The other purpose is that of a slightly abstract bellwether that can give us some general indications about “which way the economic winds will be blowing” for our local economy as we change calendars.

The accomplishments listed below are subjectively rank ordered by me. They are NOT exclusively BEDCO achievements. In fact in a couple of cases BEDCO’s role was to help roll-out the welcome mat then stand clear.

~ 2017 Top Ten Accomplishments ~

#10 - Bonham ‘featured’ as a presenter at Texas Downtown Association’s Regional Roundtable held in Sherman in March 2017. Remarks from Bonham’s Pete Phillips of United Motors, and a recap by staff of: BET on Bonham, ‘Low Loan,’ and DB-SOS incentive programs were shared with all participants.

#9Business Opportunities feature during a series of North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) hosted seminars for contractors & ‘subs’ seeking to bid on work related to the impending Lower Bois D’Arc Creek Reservoir and its’ associated capital projects! There is solid local interest in potentially landing portions of this work based on the attendance. https://www.ntmwd.com/lower-bois-darc-creek-reservoir-program/

#8BEDCO provided ‘low interest’ financing (via Government Capital Corp) for the modernization and expansion of the city-owned Lake Bonham RV Park Campground. Expanded city revenue and user fees resulting from this phase’s expansion will fully cover the principal and interest installment on the five (5) year note.

#7BEDCO participation in critical water infrastructure agreeing to “front” up to $80,000 (fully reimbursable) of costs for engineering services designing a critical ‘redundant’ water main to supply the city and adding additional system capacity! This work is a ‘must have’ as part of Bonham’s project application so that the City can submit the full water line project to the Texas Water Development Board for low interest financing to then construct the line… and reimburse BEDCO.

#6Downtown Bonham Reinvestment – 125 E 5th St, 211 Main St, the rebuild-on-site Taco Bell, and BEDCO/City of Bonham’s partnership with Fannin County Master Gardeners Club clean-up of landscaping around Bonham’s Town Sq.

#5Expanding Hwy 121 Retail – the first wave includes: Dollar Tree, Cricket Cellular, & DQ! With this year’s welcomed completion of the widening of TX Hwy 121 pent-up demand for additional commercial & retail development IS AT LAST beginning to materialize. We look for MORE in 2018!

#4 – BHS construction going full-tilt! Much needed $30 million voter-approved replacement Bonham High School structure and associated facilities!

#3 – Sam Rayburn Memorial Vets’ Center {Our VA!!} reaches 800+ employees! Mayor Floyd got word last week that Bonham’s VA continues to hire medical professional and support staff. Bonham’s VA remains the single largest employer in all of Fannin County serving US Veterans from all across the Ark-Ok-La-Tex region!

#2Tongrun Int’l acquired the vacant (GE-Zenith) facility and relocated a dozen or so jobs to Bonham! Future hiring plans are tied closely to US International trade policy and the on-going trend to ‘re-shore’ some aspects of manufacturing & assembly.

#1Triple Freeport  This “Trifecta” (City, County, Schools) of cooperation among the three (3) property taxing jurisdictions here in Bonham is a huge accomplishment that puts us on a level playing field with our Texas neighbors! It helps us retain mfg jobs already here and makes us much more attractive when recruiting logistic, warehousing and mfg prospects!

We have steady favorable winds to our back and our sails are full as Bonham, BEDCO and our partners are eager to greet the promise 2018 holds!

Comments of questions on this list may be directed to Steve Filipowicz, sfilipowicz@cityofbonham.org