Corsicana Public Library

Daily Sun photo/Michael Kormos

The Corsicana Public Library is hosting three National Novel Writing Month workshops in November.

The Economic Development Partnership Group met this week for its regular monthly meeting.

Navarro County Economic Development Director John Boswell discussed the benefits of the New Market Tax Credit and Opportunity Zones.

The tax credit program has been reauthorized by the federal government since 2000. The New Market Tax Credit program encourages investment in distressed areas. Credits can be used over seven years and can be recouped at closing, essentially acting as a loan to the business owner, if the business stays open for that time.

Boswell also discussed private investment opportunity zones as a way to spur investment in distressed areas. Navarro County has eight qualifying opportunity zones. An investor in an opportunity fund can defer and lower capital gains tax with this type of investment. An additional benefit of utilizing this program is that, if investment grows, there are no capital gains taxes taken at the conclusion of that seven year investment.

For information and requirements for each of these programs, please contact Navarro County Economic Development Director John Boswell.

Aric Bonner an agent with Remax of Corsicana, encouraged buyers to be patient and diligent in their searches. Corsicana and Navarro County have been in the midst of a sellers-market for two and a half years, a trend which Bonner said is unlikely to end any time soon.

The median housing price in Corsicana is $120,500, an 11 percent decrease over last year. County-wide, 73 percent of the houses sold were below the $200,000 mark.

Karrie Denny, Corsicana’s Main Street Director, presented the tourism and Main Street reports and announced that Corsicana and Corpus Christi will participate in a pilot program with the Texas Historical Commission. The goal of the program includes improving communication between developers interested in historic tax credits and historical and preservation opportunities. More information about the program can be found at www.downtowntx.org.

Denny also announced that new visitor maps will be available soon, highlighting what there is to do downtown.

Denny said the billboards along I-45 are having a positive effect, increasing traffic to restaurants and other businesses. Approximately 30,000 visitors maps have been distributed in the visitor centers, welcome centers and hotel brochure racks in the region. The guides will be updated twice a year with seasonal opportunities.

The Brent Thompson Bronze will be unveiled July 27 at the corner of Sixth and Beaton. Thompson’s bronze is part of an audio tour highlighting some of the important figures in our community.

Corsicana was awarded the Texas Association Softball State Championship, The tournament will run from July 7-12. 400 9-10 year old athletes and their families will be in town, totaling an expected 2,000 people. Hotels are sold out and welcome packets showing locations of pools, movie theaters and other recreational opportunities in Corsicana will be distributed.

Mayor Don Denbow discussed the water and sewer rate increases tabled at the June 24 meeting of the City Council. Denbow acknowledged the increase could be stressful but cited aging infrastructure and rising expenses as reasons for the water and sewer rate increases.

The proposed increase of is expected to increase the utility bill for the median single-family home by about $1.40 per month. The proposed rate will still be below the average of cities in the area.

Denbow said he anticipates future growth in Corsicana which will necessitate additional need for another treatment plant at Lake Halbert in the next decade.

The next meeting of the Economic Development Partnership group will be Aug. 6 in the Nancy Roberts meeting room inside the Corsicana Public Library, 100 N. Twelfth Street in Corsicana.