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City/ GEDC Awarded TX Dept of Agriculture Strategic Planning Grant

Giddings TX (August 2019) - Giddings has been selected by the Texas Department of Agriculture to receive a grant award of up to $30,000 for the development of a strategic plan with a focus on revitalization of downtown Giddings.

In late July, the GEDC responded to a notice from the Texas Department of Agriculture seeking applicants for a pilot grant program for a strategic planning grant.  The program is unique in that the funds are provided and no match by the city is required.  It was this “no match” requirement that allowed the GEDC to submit the application in spite of the short notice of only 48 hours. 

Aware of the growing number of vacant and deteriorating buildings, the GEDC submitted the application for assistance and a few weeks later, the organization was notified that of 30 applicants, Giddings and two other cities within the region were selected to receive an award.  The funds will be used to hire a consultant to assess needs and opportunities, and develop strategies for addressing downtown and other development along the Highway 290 corridor.

“With so many needs, it can be hard for a small community to spend this kind of money on a ‘plan’ so this grant is a big gift.   Folks don’t always understand the value of having a strategic plan, but they are extremely important.  A plan helps prioritize where dollars should be spent, while keeping cities from chasing projects that are not viable. A plan can also keep a development organization on track in spite of a changing political landscape.  This prevents the waste of valuable dollars on projects that will never be completed.  Just as important, however is the fact that many state and federal infrastructure grants require cities to have already identified problem areas in their strategic plans.  Without a robust strategic plan, cities can get passed by when million dollar plus grant opportunities are announced,” explained Britton.

“The state and federal governments want to know that a city has the need, the capacity, the political will to make a project successful and they want to see a strategic plan that already includes those elements.  The government does not want to award a grant and then find out that the city that received the award doesn’t have the ability or will to follow through.  The plan the GEDC hopes to develop will begin with downtown, but will extend to other parts of town so this is important opportunity that we need to take appreciate and take advantage of.  There’s no telling where the plan will lead us.  The possibilities are endless,” she added.