Celina Economic Development Corporation

Corbett Howard - 214.282.0732

Celina EDC

EDC 101 Part Two

In Part One, we discussed the beginning and purpose of the EDC. This article will look at the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board’s work setting priorities that began to define Celina’s vision as the 2000 decade unfolded.

The Celina Economic Development Corporation Board met in November 1998. Leigh Glendenning, Charlie Duecker, Joe Stalling, Olen Long, and Bob McKnight comprised the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. They invited Development Professionals from Collin College and TXU. Judge Harris from Collin County was also present to give input from the perspective of the County. These round table discussions began a planning process to create committees to carry out short and long term goals of the Celina Economic Development Corporation.

In late March of 1999, Seven Committees were established, Marketing, Historical, Citizen Safety & Protection, Culture, Industrial Foundation, Medical/ Retail, and Recreation. Amazing, that these categories in development are still the focus in Celina today. Several of the Committees work began to materialize during this year, the Historical Committee received authority to form the Celina Area Heritage Association, and the Recreation Committee continued to focus on available land for a City Park. It is interesting that during this year there were several discussions with Brookshires about coming to Celina. It is important to note that the committees looking at the different segments of planning was a catalyst toward the first Comprehensive Plan. The planning team was commissioned by the City in 2000, and the first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2001.

In November of 2000, the Celina Area Heritage Association requested a grant from the Celina Economic Development Corporation of $20,000 to remodel the building that they had purchased for a museum, the Board unanimously approved the request and this was the first EDC funds granted for a project in Celina. It was fitting that supporting the museum was a commitment to help preserve the heritage, traditions and culture that make Celina unique

The Celina Economic Development Corporation next fund contribution was made in early 2002 for a City Park in the amount of $100,000 helping to secure a matching Collin County Grant. This effectively became the seed money toward creating the Old Celina Park. In fact over the next two years the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board contributed another $200,000 for the development of the Park. This culminated with an Interlocal agreement between the Celina Economic Development Corporation and City of Celina in September 2004 committing funding to the debt service for the Old Celina Park. The Celina Economic Development Corporation has contributed to date almost $500,000.This commitment has been a point of pride to each Board member who has served during this period of time. Enhancing the quality of life has been a top priority for the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board.

The Celina Economic Development Corporation has played a leading role in two important commercial ventures that have contributed both jobs and sales tax dollars to Celina. The Celina Economic Development Corporation granted $21,000 for water infrastructure for the development of Settlers Ridge. This Assisted Living facility created 83 jobs when the facility opened in September 2003. The grant from the CEDC also helped the developer meet requirements for a Texas Capital Fund grant for off site water and sewer lines and the street improvements. The appreciation letter from the Prusak Family to the Celina Economic Development Corporation expressed the significant part the EDC played in the success of Settlers Ridge.

The Celina Economic Development Corporation role in the development of the Celina Town Center is the most important commercial/retail success story of the last decade. The Celina Economic Development Corporation Board led in the effort to get Brookshires. They worked a broad agreement that committed $144,000 dollars for infrastructure improvements, which was a qualified project for a 4A Corporation. This agreement made it possible for the owner/developer to work a long term lease that was beneficial to the Brookshire Company. At the same time the developer agreed to donate seven acres of land behind Brookshires for a City Hall. Though this part of the agreement expired and was given back to the landowner, the Celina Town Center stands as a success story of diligent work of the Celina Economic Development Corporation Board. These are a few of the examples of the work and vision of the Celina Economic Development Corporation.

In the second decade of the twenty-first century the EDC was instrumental in bringing McDonalds to Celina. The McDonald’s ribbon cutting at the Celina Town Center took place in October 2011. It was my privilege to speak at the Texas Municipal League two years ago about the story of our quest for McDonalds. It is a story of perseverance and the process of getting a national brand to qualify our market trade area. Since McDonalds opened other businesses have followed the Big Mac lead to Celina, including Kwik Kar, Texas Health Resources, and Dickey’s Barbeque. There is activity occurring around us. We are starting to appear on the radar screen of some major developers. The City of Celina is business friendly, and encourages business and commercial interest wanting to come to Celina. This fact is known in the marketplace and it means a lot to investors and developers.

The present Celina Economic Development Corporation Board is looking at new challenges in innovation to prepare Celina for the tidal wave of development in the next 18 months. The Board members headed by Kyle Rose President of the Board, Mindy Koehne Vice-President, Scott Stawski Secretary, Bill Morris and Carmen Roberts are the current members of the Celina Economic Development Corporation. Every day presents a new challenge and just like the creators of the Celina Economic Development Corporation nineteen years ago; your Board today is getting us ready for tomorrow.

Corbett Howard is the Executive Director of the Celina Economic Development Corporation