(BEDFORD) - The Bedford City Council appointed Byron Buker to serve as City Council President during their first meeting of 2012.
Patrick Robbins and Judy Carlisle were reappointed to serve on the Redevelopment Commission. Julie Hewetson was appointed to serve on the Animal Control Commission. Larry Parson was reappointed to the Port Authority Board of Directors and Bryon Buker to the Lawrence County Solid Waste Board. Reappointed to the Bedford Urban Enterprise Association were residents Harold Turner and Becky Wright, businessman Justin Inman and Council member Michele Murphy.
In other business:
The council set up a temporary Human Resource Committee. The committee will review current employment policies and ordinances, especially those that cover comp-time, personal time off, vacation and sick time. Adel Bowden Purlee and Patrick Robbins will represent the council on the committee.
Ralph Anderson presented a compliance with statement of benefits for property tax abatement for Town Square Plaza.
Lawrence County Economic Growth Council Executive Director Gene McCracken presented council members with a copy of the growth council's 2011 annual report. The economic growth council facilitates the expansion and retention of existing business and aggressively recruits new business in the county.
Some of 2011 accomplishments include:
- Increased membership from 40 members to 85 members.
- Successfully provided more revolving loans to local businesses and have received through the USDA another $74,000 of new money loans.
- Phase I of Plaza Drive was completed, with Phase II being completed soon.
- Visions Group added more new jobs at East Gate through Tri-Star Engineering, SAIC and URS. PRN Associates are still growing.
- General Motors announcement of 245 jobs and a 110 million dollar investment was enhanced this year with the announcement of an additional new investment of $83.9 million, which will create 58 additional GM jobs.
- Bedford Machine & Tool received tax abatements from the city of Bedford for the purchase of new equipment and also PRD Inc. received tax abatement from the county for manufacturing growth.
- The newly formed White River Port Authority is continuing to do its work and has purchased the GM Loop. They are in the process of purchasing the rail from Bedford to Mitchell.
- I.U. Health Bedford is planning to build a new hospital.
- New partnerships are forming to save the Community Learning Center.
- The LCEGC Wellness committee developed the highly successful Live Well Lawrence County program.
- A staff position was funded thereby creating a revival of SOAR, a local adult literacy program.
- The council is working with a regional group to promote investigating and establishing of a Spaceport - Challenger Learning Center and an I-Max theater, in an effort to honor Lawrence County's rich astronaut heritage.
- Lehigh still intends to commit nearly $400 million of future investments in the county.
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