Brownwood mayor: the city saw economic success in 2013
Based on last year's performance, Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes said Brownwood has a lot of reasons to be happy.
"Our economy fared well. Our sales tax revenues were up, our unemployment was down, and our real estate sales figures were up," said Haynes. "When I look at the numbers, we fared better than our state national government."
The real estate market saw higher demand and a decline in supply of houses available, therefore prices went up.
Haynes said the city's economic success is thanks in part to the establishment of new, big businesses such as Buffalo Wild WIngs.
"With all name-brand stores, it creates some business momentum. When people come to a small community, they want to see names they recognize, names they know, names they're familiar with." Haynes said having name-brand stores gives the impression that Brownwood is more than "a small West Texas city."
"We're a thriving community that's doing well in a tough national economy and we're always looking for new opportunities to add new jobs and businesses."
According to Haynes, Brownwood was at 5.3% unemployment in 2013, which is both good and bad.
"People think it's a good thing, and I'd rather us be low, but the challenge is this--future employers that are looking to develop a workforce might see it as a hard time to find sufficient employees," said Haynes.
That's another reason why he wants to have big chains set up shop in town. Haynes said the city is currently in negotiations with United Supermarkets.
Demolition and construction projects were also topics of the mayor's State of the City presentation. Haynes said the Lyric Theatre will have a positive economic impact once its restoration is complete as it is expected to bring in about $6.8 million.
Aside from continuing growth in retail recruitment, Haynes said his main focus for 2014 is water conservation and finding alternative sources of water.
Overall Haynes said he'd give 2013's economy an A.
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