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The Economic Development Partnership Group heard updates on new and ongoing developments and community activities at their regular meeting Tuesday.

“This time of year brings so many fun things to do,” said Susan Wilson, marketing communications consultant for the City of Corsicana. “There will be hundreds of pumpkins with a variety of activities for all to enjoy.”

The pumpkin patch, located at The Square Root2 at 222 N. Main St., will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Halloween.

Another community event free to the public is the Out on the Porch performance series from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at Pioneer Village, located at 912 W. Park Ave., sponsored in part by the Parks & Recreation Department and featuring Courtney and the SideTracks for a street dance. Call 903-654-4846 for more information.

Wilson announced that the annual Kids Night Out is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24. Face painting and pumpkin bowling will be offered by Parks & Rec. A large City of Corsicana Fire Engine and Police SWAT Truck will also be on display.

Kids Night Out is free to the public. A hot dog meal and photo-op board will be provided by Guild Mortgage Company and City Real Estate.

Wilson also mentioned Boo on the Block, happening from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Boo on the Block will be held downtown, with all local businesses participating.

“This event exemplifies our community spirit of Trick or Treating in a safe environment and is fun for everyone,” Wilson said.

Activities will include a Haunted Hayride from Parks & Recreation, Costume Contest sponsored by H-E-B, Pumpkin Carving Contest sponsored by Square Root2 and prizes and candy from VOICE and the Corsicana Public Library. For more information, contact the Corsicana Parks & Recreation Department at 903-654-4874.

Wilson shared that Corsicana will be included in a familiarization tour for the Texas Department of Transportation Oct. 31.

A delegation including 16 travel counselors and two representatives from Texas State Parks will be among those who will be shown what Corsicana has to offer, in a “sampler platter-type” itinerary.

“Stops will include the Pearce Museum, Planetarium, Courthouse, Bronze Statues, the Carriage District, Navarro College and Downtown offerings, finishing their tour with milkshakes at Across the Street Diner, one of the oldest soda fountains in Texas,” she said.

TxDot Welcome Centers have 12 locations in Texas with Travel Counselors who greet and assist two million visitors every year.

Jeffrey Lyons gave the new business report, as well as an update on the infill project's progress.

“Overall, 23 applications have been approved for the transfer of property to private ownership. Eleven residences have been completed since the introduction of the infill program,” said Lyons.

Two certificates of occupancy were provided in September. Three commercial projects are under review, including a 148 unit multi-family complex. Multi-family housing has been a focus of the Partnership Group since its inception.

The Chamber of Commerce will hold a Business Expo and Job Fair, including job search workshops, on Oct. 5. The State of the State and Nation luncheon presented by Oil City Iron Works will be held Oct. 17, at the IOOF Administration Building inside the Miller Room.

Economic Development Director John Boswell discussed training opportunities of the Complete Count Committee. Focusing on difficult to count populations, there will be two training sessions from 10 a.m. to 11:30 am. Oct. 10 and 11 in the Nancy Robert's Meeting Room inside the Corsicana Library. Contact Boswell or Susan Wilson about serving on this committee.

Boswell also discussed foreign trade zones which are similar to free trade zones.

“A foreign trade zone is another economic incentive tool in the tool box,” said Boswell.

He told the group that foreign trade zones were analogous to an island where goods are not taxed until they are moved. Taxes are assessed on a finished product and not necessarily the raw materials needed to produce that product. Those interested in learning more about the benefits of foreign trade zones are encouraged to contact Boswell.

Aric Bonner, Associate Broker for RE/MAX of Corsicana, provided a real estate update, which shows Corsicana and Navarro County remain in a seller’s market.

Corsicana's median home sale price is $146,200 with nearly 80% of home prices below $200,000. August sales for Navarro County, show that the median sales price is $150,000.

The next meeting of the Mayor's Economic Development Partnership Group will be Nov. 5, inside the Nancy Roberts meeting room inside the Corsicana Public Library, 100 N. 12th in Corsicana.

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