TRINITY — City staff members were instructed this week to negotiate with a company that could help facilitate targeted economic development in the Trinity city limits.
Lacy Bacchus with Retail Strategies presented Trinity City Council with information on how her company could assist Trinity in drawing the interest of coveted business relocation. Several members of council noted that the city has tried unsuccessfully to bring a grocery store to Trinity, along with other retail businesses.
Multiple councilmen also suggested that perhaps it was time to try a different approach.
“What we’ve been doing for the last 20 years hasn’t been working too good,” City Councilman Bob Hicks said, tongue-in-cheek.
Bacchus estimates the city loses approximately $50 million per year in tax revenue to residents shopping in neighboring municipalities for everyday items. Officials believed that one particular glaring need for the city would be remedied by the passage of alcohol sales in Trinity.
A prevailing notion among officials was that denying residents and visitors the ability to purchase alcoholic beverages in the city limits was preventing the growth Trinity leaders sought.
“We were told a grocery store wouldn’t come here because we didn’t have alcohol,” Councilman Jack Carico said of the decision by council to place a referendum on the 2020 ballot. “It hasn’t made a lick of difference.”
Carico continued by saying he hopes the city can finally entice a grocery store to offer residents a place to conveniently shop near their homes. That mission is twofold, he explained. In order to bring additional businesses to Trinity, it’s his understanding that the “big fish,” so to speak, must come first.
“What you hear most from people is that we need a grocery store,” Carico said.
Bacchus suggested to council members that if it contracts with a company to produce results, Trinity can expect a minimum of 12-18 months to wait for any recruitment efforts to yield fruit. Once it begins, she said the recruitment of just one company can easily pay for the services of Retail Strategies.
No formal decision was made on whether to sign an agreement for those services, but staff can now discuss specifics on what a contract might look like.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.
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