(from September, 2007):
Paris’ “Game Plan for Success”
On Tuesday afternoon, August 28, 2007, a new Game Plan for Success, according to the Paris Economic Development Corporation (PEDC), was announced for Paris.
One promise was a proposed “business incubator” program, which was first promised on June 1, 1989, over 20-years ago, when the City of Paris signed a Contract with the Texas Department of Commerce. Which, back then, was a fairly-new suggestion by the government economic experts.
And don’t they have a record of success?
The Game Plan may find a few bumps in the road – something like the Grand Canyon.
Another stated, primary, overall goal is to bring in 500 industrial jobs in the next five years. Great. Paris needs them, as we’ve lost more industrial jobs than we’ve created since 1990. If we’re willing to throw away around 5.5 million dollars for no new jobs, how much would we spend for 500 actual jobs?
The way things are going, despite the Happy Talk, we’re not about to get 500 new jobs.
But, please, don’t build anymore “speculative” buildings !!!
Some large metroplex areas, such as Dallas, have developers who can afford to build speculative buildings, and they’ll work to land a user. They have choices that small towns don’t have. Small towns don’t know what kind of building a potential industry will need or the way it needs to be laid out for maximum efficiency. So, too often, when smaller towns do build them, they end up rebuilding them … if they’re lucky enough to get an industry before the termites take over.
The PEDC spent over one million dollars for a “business park” (when the PEDC was claiming they could only do industrial development). The park is now over 4-years old, and there are only two buildings on it: One is vacant, the other houses Atmos Energy, formerly Lone Star Gas utility company, and it’s not an industry. That’s one of the reasons why an Industrial Park is now a Business Park. Another reason is there are a lot more businesses then industries.
Adjoining the park, next door, is a large, vacant industrial building, a real eyesore. No curb appeal, at all. So, over $1 million of the taxpayers money were spent moving dirt around and pouring concrete next to this embarrassment; this monument to failure. And it’s next to the industrial/business park? And Paris won’t do anything about it, because “it isn’t our building”?
Why didn’t the PEDC just buy it, and the 26-or so acres that goes with the property, and used a little paint and re-roofing material, and done a little clean-up? Those who love a “speculative building” would have had one – market-ready, at much less expense to taxpayers, and Paris would have looked a little better.
Since 1996. Paris has spent over $200,000 on plans and studies. There are dozens of plans gathering dust today on shelves in back–rooms from city hall to the old depot.
So, during the meeting on the 28th, it was suggested that the PEDC hire Texas A & M University to do another study on this area. And recommended the study be conducted on at least a yearly basis. Wanna’ guess how many local citizens will know what is in the study at the end of the first year? The Second year? Or the Third?
Wanna’ bet of what will result from the study?
Anyway … Paris has a new Game Plan for Success, which over-looks past mistakes and (the Paris Chamber warns) relies on repeating failures of the past . . .
Please call us in ten years and tell us about the successes –
Has there been, as some claim, a mysterious, spontaneous mutation of a fundamental gene that causes Paris to repeat and repeat the same failed things over and over?
THAT question is a sad commentary on a town of 25,000 people…
Added: (The failures of the last 10-years were not because of the Paris Chamber, but because the community leadership did not listened to the Paris Chamber. No, we’re not fortune-tellers: But our experience knows that what Paris should be doing, it’s not; and what it should not be doing, it is. What Paris has done to Paris should be a crime.)