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Keith Jilge and David Patterson explain mission and goals of “Type A” and “Type B” Boards

Keith Jilge is the current Economic Development Director for the City of Keene. He is also the President of the Keene Chamber of Commerce. Keene Chronicle recently sat down with Jilge and David Patterson, PresidentKeene Economic Development, as they described and explained the purposes and respective functions of ’Type A’ (aka Keene Economic Development Corporation) and ‘Type B’ (aka The Business Development Corporation) Boards, their own respective roles and involvement with them, and what this means for the City of Keene and its residents. As Economic Development Director for the City of Keene, Jilge oversees the ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ bo ards. Q: “Describe and define the mission and purpose of the Type A and Type B boards.” A: Jilge: “There used to be more differences, but the State changed the rules. Type A and Type B are real similar. Type B is able to fund things that Type A cannot. They can fund the park. Otherwise they are for economic and business growth within the (Keene) city limits. Attracting and retaining jobs is the number one criteria that they have to meet in what it is that they want. So let’s call it ‘new jobs and business growth.’ The City of Keene itself, Type A and Type B all help to fund my check. They each pick up a portion of it. I answer to all three of those - the Council and both boards. That’s why I make all the meetings. I am required to make the A meeting, the B meeting and the Council meeting, so if they have questions or need updates I can provide them with that. “But my job is to direct business growth, new businesses, adding on to businesses, whatever is encompassed in that - Type A purchasing property. Anything that is related to business growth or new jobs, I

get a call on. I’m also the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Keene. What that job entails is being sure that we meet all Federal and State guidelines. There is a Mims (Logan O. Mims) compliance, which are the National standards for emergency management. We have to go through testing ever year – everbody has to have a certain amount of testing. “That’s employees at all levels and in all of the different departments, fire and police of course, but also Public Works has to go through disaster training, e.g., who runs the chain saw, who takes care of this. And we work together to come up with a national standard that we have to comply with this Mims training, and submit a report every year and work with that. We also work with the Johnson County Emergency Management to make sure that that’s done. (It’s) as simple as who sends, during a tornado, the little text that goes out. I’m on call 24/7 to be sure that that happens and watch weather all the time. I’m also the City liaison. If there is a State mandate, or a County mandate that requires a representative to be there, I’m the guy that goes and does that. So those three, among others, are the three things that I do. Type A helps fund – Type B helps run the City of Keene.” Q: “Do the two Board (Type A and Type B) have the same board members?” A: Patterson: “Type A and Type B has two completely separate board members, I started out as President Type B. I did almost 9 years serving as President. Then I resigned and just kind of stepped back for a while and then that’s when the City asked me if I would serve on the Board again and they appointed me to Type A Board, and Type A Board asked me to be President. But in the very beginning, when these boards were formed, A Board was not able to do anything in bringing in any type of retail or retail incentive - they were strictly light and heavy industry. B Board could do retail; they could do community projects such as quality of life. They could bring in parks and recreation centers. There were other things that they were allowed to do. And

since then they have loosened the laws on A and made both of them very similar. There’s still some slight differences on them. “But, kind of going back on old history, we had a grant to do the park down here from the State. Alicia Carver applied for a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant to get our new park started and we really found out real quick into the project that it was not going to be sufficient to get the park to the quality we wanted. And B Board came on board and actually borrowed $375,000 to help fund getting the park completed and getting it up to where it’s at now. Plus we put another $60,000 – $65,000 cash, here and there, as projects were needed. Several years ago the Type B Board bought the all-terrain vehicle that they now use at the park. And they’ve done several things like that to help the park. B Board still carries that note - I think they’re a little more than halfway through the $375,000 note. It won’t be too much longer and the park will be paid off.” Q: “How do the two boards coordinate their respective services, i.e., how do they work together?” A: Patterson: “I feel the two boards work very, very well together. That’s one thing where Keith comes into play with the two presidents. I am a volunteer and always having time to meet face to face and discuss things is where I can go to Keith and say ‘hey can you check with B Board and set up a meeting?’ We’ve sat down in the past and done several joint projects together. The A and B board have come together – one of them was helping with Keith’s salary. A and B came together in agreements on that to pay a portion of his salary. We extended water and sewer down here to the North Side Station, the little shopping center. There was no sewer and water available down there. This was back in ’08 –’09, we worked together and were able to get the funding, extended it down there because that was creation of jobs - creation of new development and stuff down there. So I think we work very well together. They both serve a separate function because they both have their own board members; their members have their different views, different ways of looking at things. The B Board lean more, to this day

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to what I call ‘commercial and retail type of development.’ They’ve been looking at working on property and to try to get a grocery store, and to get some more store fronts in Keene. A Board is primarily focused on industry. I put all of my eggs in the basket of industrial development out there in the Industrial Park, looking at other areas to bring in more industry, more I call it ‘high quality, high job retention,’ I want good jobs. I want jobs that are going to be here 15-20 years from now. I want medium to higher end pay. You know, we can find a lot of places that would want to come in here and pay minimum wage, you know, some kind of factory in here. But that doesn’t do a lot to help the overall economy of Keene. I’m looking for a higher - a medium to upper income wage areas - is what I’m looking for to bring into Keene. There may be a certain project such as infrastructure that the two boards may team up to do, but so far most of anything that we’ve done jointly has been infrastructure.” Jilge: “Let me just give you a brief overview of why jobs are important, and that is two or three things are happening: one is 121 is being extended down into Cleburne coming in at Nolan River from downtown Fort Worth. As of July, Highway 67 four lanes between 174 and Keene have been funded. It’s just a two lane road right now. I’ve been talking to TxDOT, they gave us the plans and everything to make sure we can move our infrastructure - if we have anything in the way. The four lane dirt work will start somewhere around September 1st - that is done, it has been funded. When that happens, the traffic count already out on 67 is higher at 67 and here and Old Betsy than it is at I35 and 67. But 121 coming in will bring in free access of commercial vehicles from Fort Worth to Cleburne. Cleburne then will be the dump off point. And Keene will be part of the transfer of products and services from that pipeline of traffic to I35. It’s an endaround downtown Fort Worth, is what it is. That puts us - at least the property on 67 - in prime, commercial growth. We’re the target! “If you look at Burleson and what it looked like 20 years ago, it was as small as Keene, or maybe even smaller in population and in density than

we are now. We are growing this way. So Keene and the City Council have chosen to be proactive in that growth process. We have a decision making process. We can steer what we want, who we want, how we want that growth. We can choose what our community is going to look like or we can settle for what is given to us. They (City Council) have chosen to be proactive, not reactive. “So that’s where I come in, that’s what I get to do, try to manipulate, project what the desires of Keene. And you know, it’s an Adventist community, it’s a Christian-based Adventist community and they have a vision of what it should look like even through the growth process. That’s what we’re trying to incorporate with zoning, with rules for blight. We have ordinances to resolve that right now. Those didn’t exist at sometime in the past. But you know, we want our community to be nice because it is a proven fact that communities that have rules and ordinances that control those things actually grow at a faster pace. Because business that come in knows what rules are and knows that someone next door to them will not be able to get away with something they didn’t. They’ll have sprinkling, they’ll have building standards, they’ll have everything in place that will allow them to be a long term client and part of this community. But that’s the vision. We looking at 20 years out, 100 years out, instead of 2 years out.” Q: “Project some short term as well as long term goals for the economic development of Keene.” A: Jilge: “Short term goal would be – and we’re in the process of getting the City compliant with State and National mandates that will allow us to ask for and receive grants. I am a Certified Grant Administrator. To get a grant you have to have your financial statements, audits for the last fiscal year posted in. That is in not being done. I can’t move forward with any of that until that’s done. So, let’s say short term goal, we’re going to become compliant, we’re going to look at our zoning, and we’re going to look at our ordinances to insure that everything is in place that will allow that growth. Long term goal, we’re going to have industry and commercial retail along 67. We’ve also done

studies for Eldercare. And we are working on all three of those projects right now as we speak. And when I say long term, this is 2-4 years. This is happening now! “But that’s what it takes, you know, in a small community there is no diversification of particular jobs. An example of that is Dave (Patterson) actually going down to the (Keene) Senior Center and actually painting, hands-on! Me, last week, I picked up trash with TAES. So to be a part of a small community you can’t say ‘that’s not my job!’ You just go ‘what needs to be done?’ and you go ‘OK, where can I fit this in the schedule?’ and start doing it! “Here’s another thing that most people don’t know about 121. Up in Alliance Air Port, Dave and I attended the meeting last June. And there’re kind of projecting. Texas is real good about projecting the vision of what they want it to be and inviting you to kind of share in that. And what a lot of people don’t know is the largest inland port in the world is at Alliance Airport. They have spent the money to put in a rail system, for instance, that most people don’t even know that it’s there! So, I35 is the artery for economic growth and products for the central United States. What they’re planning is bringing into Houston, Galveston all the ship traffic that can’t go into the West or the East Coast - because it’s already clogged up. They’re going to bring in ship traffic through the expansion of the Panama Canal, to be done in 2014. And when that happens, I35 will be the lifeline between Houston, Galveston and those ports. And all that traffic that’s coming up to the largest inland port in the world will bring all its products to the Central United States! Instead of coming to the coast, then in, they’re going to go right up the middle! And so that’s the plan for 2-3 years from now. We’ve seen road plans with everything from another south loop that brings Burleson to be the south loop. Instead of 820 there will be another one that comes down between Dallas and Fort Worth which will bypass again those urban areas and come on down. And 35 is that link, 121 is the outside bypass around that. We are the target for that. So we Continued Jilge - Patterson Page 6

FIFTY YEARS IN KEENE by TG In late December 1963, myself along with two of my brothers, our little feet touched the Keene soil for the first time. My mother and my youngest brother had been here since the summer of 1963. Coming from a farm in northwestern Oklahoma, the city of life of Keene sure was exciting to me. We just barely got enrolled in the Keene Public school one day and the next day a fourteen inch snow blanketed the big City of Keene. We walked to school, only to find the doors locked. We were pleasantly surprised! In Oklahoma they did not close schools unless the snow was several feet deep. So, we had an extended Christmas vacation. I don’t remember how many days we did not go to school, but we had a lot of fun playing in the snow. My brothers and I rolled a snowball up the street. It grew to about 4 feet in diameter until we couldn’t push it any further. So we just left it there. We had no money and a wrecker probably couldn’t pick up a snowball anyway. So it was left in someone driveway. Meanwhile, in 1963 W O

Belz had a general store on South College Drive. It was a cool place and he had a big old pot-belly stove in there. Some of the local men would be in there from time to time, telling old stories. During the time of snow it was a really popular place. We would play in the snow and then go get around W O’s pot-belly stove to warm our little bodies. While we were there this particular day getting warmed up we overheard one of the local men say “Some boys rolled a big snowball right in front of my driveway and I can’t get my car out.” When we heard this we eased on out of there and ran. I bet those men had a big laugh out of that. I am sure they knew we were the ones that had rolled that snowball. Looking back he could not have driven his car if had been able to get it out with 14 inches of snow on the roads, so who was he kidding? Back in the 60’s there was a young man in Keene by the name of Pat Lawrence, he still lives around here today. Pat had a hot-rod Ford… and he knew how to drive it too! When we would hear Pat coming we would run to

get out of his way. We were scared of Pat and his hot-rod Ford. But soon, instead of running, we would try to get closer to watch Pat burning those tires and going thru the gears. Keene had only a one man police force in those days and sometimes we would see “Jake” take out after Pat, though he hardly ever caught him. A few years passed and one by one my brothers and I all acquired our drivers’ licenses. We all got hot-rod Fords of our own. After this, Keene no longer had a one many police force. They got 2, then 3 and then 4. I am not taking credit for the size of the police force growing, I am just saying…. The story you have just read is true, the names have not been changed to protect the innocent, or for that matter the guilty. See you next time with more from Keene’s past. Signed TG

Keene Chronicle February 21, 2013  

Weekly newspaper covering the City of Keene, Texas