GEDC: Focus on the Current Legislative Session, Railway Improvements, and Lee County Day
2 May 2023
One word best describes the invigorated efforts of Giddings Economic Development Corporation (GEDC): Action.
GEDC’s Networking at the 88th Texas Legislative Session
Following on the heels of the Giddings Workforce and Education Summit sponsored by GEDC and the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, which brought local and state leaders together, GEDC sponsored a reception in Austin for the Texas Economic Development Council's (TEDC) Legislative Conference held Feb. 22-24. TEDC is a statewide non-profit professional association dedicated to developing economic and employment opportunities in Texas. The conference included presentations on economic development tools, business retention, and recruitment, as well as a briefing on the bills under consideration in the legislative session.
GEDC’s focus on legislative networking and activity with TEDC is spurred by the state's $37 billion budget surplus.
"Everybody is in Austin this session trying to get their share of the money in the Rainy Day Fund,'" said GEDC President David Stedman. “Our efforts are to make sure Giddings has its deserved place at the table. We want Giddings seen and recognized. We have urgent needs in transportation, healthcare, childcare, education, and infrastructure, and this is our chance to elevate the consideration of Giddings as the session gets underway.”
Stedman, GEDC board members, and its consultants met personally with Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Representative Stan Gerdes. "We also have had productive one-on-one meetings with Attorney General Ken Paxton, Adriana Cruz, who heads Texas Economic Development, and Sid Miller, the Commissioner for the Texas Department of Agriculture, which directs Rural Economic Development," said Stedman. Through these efforts, Miller has agreed to visit Giddings in the near future.
In line with GEDC’s collaborative approach, Stedman has enlisted the expertise of consultants, such as Jeff Moseley, former Commissioner of the Texas Department of Transportation and head of the Office of the Governor for Economic Development, to help open doors. “People are talking more and more about Giddings and are supportive of our efforts,” said Stedman.
Transportation and Logistics Goals
As Senator Kolkhorst said at the Giddings Workforce and Education Summit, “Lee County: location, location, location.” Running through Giddings is U.S. Hwy 290, the east-west connector between Houston and Austin, which “puts Giddings on the map” for economic growth and prosperity. As a result, manufacturing and logistics are well-served in Lee County. Senator Kolkhorst and local leaders are working together to ensure that development is planned along Hwy 290 in such a way that benefits Giddings while preserving its quality of place.
Furthermore, Senator Kolkhorst will support a bill to address improving grade separations at the Union Pacific Rail crossing with Hwy 290 near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 77. “The project would benefit rail safety, relieve traffic congestion at the tracks, improve transportation infrastructure, and promote economic development,” said Stedman.
Examples of grade crossing improvements include flashing lights, pavement markings, and reduction of traffic queuing, according to U.S. Department of Transportation. Railroad crossing incidents are the second leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. With the assistance of Federal Railroad Administration's programs, fatalities have been reduced by 60 percent over the last two decades.
Lee County Day
Texas HR331 proclaimed February 28, 2023, Lee County Day, and over 30 of its citizens took full advantage to mingle with elected officials to advocate for their community’s needs and champion their community’s dedication. The Giddings Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual event in cooperation with Senator Kolkhort and Representative Gerdes. Senator Kolkhorst recognized the delegation from the Senate floor, while Representative Gerdes read a resolution recognizing Lee County citizens, including Judge Frank Malinak III; Commissioners Mark Matthijetz, Richard Wagner, Alan Turner, and Steven Knobloch; Mayor Joel Lopez and Councilman Jacob Janda; City Manager Spencer Schneider; and Giddings EDC President David Stedman and board member Ed Johnson.
The day represented yet another step in the vision to keep Giddings on the leading edge. The proclamation celebrated Lee County’s “rich and colorful history as they work together to build a bright future.” It noted, “The citizens of Lee County may take justifiable pride in the important role their unique region continues to play in the story of the Lone Star State.”
Businesses and the creative class are choosing Giddings. Giddings offers the quality of life you want at a price that’s easier on the wallet. The bucolic city is ideally located between Houston and Austin, with access to advanced fiber-optic telecommunication networks, a skilled workforce, major transportation options, abundant groundwater, an Opportunity Zone, and several excellent properties for sale or lease.
Find out how the Giddings Economic Development Corporation can help you and your business take advantage of these benefits. Contact us today at (979) 542-2067, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com! Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn!