Local News
BEDCO Director announces resignation
By Sandy Barber
Nov 24, 2023
Print this page
Email this article

Bonham, TX – A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bonham Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO) was called to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Bonham City Hall Council Chambers on Monday, November 20, 2023.  All directors were present.

At the end of the meeting, BEDCO Executive Director Gayle Cooper announced that this would be her last board meeting.  BEDCO Board President Alan McDonald thanked Cooper for her service to the community.

Cooper’s last day will be December 6.  She plans to relocate to Montreal to be closer to her daughter.

*****

The Minutes of the Regular Meeting held on October 16 were approved.

*****

The monthly financial reports for August 2023 were approved.

*****

Citizens Opportunity to Speak: 

Melissa Maxwell with the Bonham Visitors Center reported that the “Bonham Now” podcast has launched.  There are already two podcasts posted and the plan is to post two new podcasts each month.

Rusty Deets expressed appreciation for BEDCO board members who volunteer their time to serve the city and wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Another citizen had questions about the proposed Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) map.  Her property is partially in the proposed zone, so she was concerned about how it would affect her property usage, property values and taxes.  City Manager Sean Pate stated that the map has not yet been finalized and they may adjust the map to correspond to property lines or they may adjust it to be only commercial properties and no residential properties.  He further stated that the TIRZ designation will not impact taxes owed by a property owner nor would it affect the zoning.  Pate stated that being in the TIRZ area could be beneficial to a homeowner as they could potentially get some tax credits for improvements made to their property.  

*****

Executive Director’s Report.

Gayle Cooper reported that she has been proofing the Master Plan.  She stated that there were about 15-20 people in attendance at the October 23 meeting and about 55 people at the November 9 meeting to get citizen input on the plan.  Overall, feedback has been generally positive about the plan.  She said the biggest fear seemed to be that Trades Day might be going away with this plan.  Cooper said that Trades Day will NOT be going away with the Master Plan and she has been working to correct this misunderstanding.  She said citizens have asked numerous questions about the plan.  Cooper thanked Allen Sanderson for his work leading the Downtown Advisory Group and the public comment meetings for the Master Plan.  Cooper described the Master Plan as a “solid plan that is well thought out and visionary.”

Cooper gave an update on the BEDCO property on Highway 121, north of Braum’s.  She stated that there was a letter of intent that had no movement for three years before she came to Bonham.  BEDCO’s investment in the property has now prepared it for development and it will now likely net the city more than $1 million once the three lots are sold.  She stated that the northern and southern lots already have developments in the works.

Cooper handed out copies of the BEDCO Annual Report.  She stated she believes in transparency and wanted to report on where the BEDCO money has been spent. Sales taxes account for 63.3% of BEDCO’s annual income.  Last year, expenses included 20% for the Highway 121 property improvements, 17% for airport improvements, 16% for city infrastructure and 9% for downtown grants.   The annual report is also posted on the BEDCO website: https://www.cityofbonham.org/DocumentCenter/View/1603/Annual-Report-2023