MDD still eyes business park potential
Af ter an executive session Thursday, MDD board members authorized executive director Tom Manskey to continue seeking ownership information on the park, located just north of the city limits on FM 487.
The MDD has been eying uses for the park since last summer but continues to have questions over ownership of all the property sought for business development potential.
In August, 2012, the MDD announced it was interested in acquiring 170 acres at the park. Manskey said he believes the MDD “has resources (for business development) which the City of Rockdale and the Chamber of Commerce don’t possess.”
The industrial park was once part of the vast Milam County holdings of Rockdale businessman H. H. Coffield, who died in 1977.
Upon his death, the bulk of Coffield’s estate was divided between three charities, the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America and the Episcopal Church.
A foundation, the Episcopal Foundation of Texas, was set up to administer the church’s part of the estate. Its president was the late Frank Anderson, a Rockdale area resident. Anderson negotiated the gift of both the industrial park and the H H. Coffield Airport to the City of Rockdale.
They were turned over to the city in an October, 1987, ceremony.
A juvenile justice center and a Frito-Lay warehouse were later located in the industrial park but neither of those structures is currently platted within the business park, according to Manskey.
FINE TUNED— Al so on Thursday, a proposed downtown facade improvement program was fine tuned to include businesses from the entire city and extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Manskey said the anticipated program would encourage owners who want to approve the street-side appearance of their businesses to apply for funding from the MDD.
In other business during Thursday’s session, MDD directors:
• Discussed a pending TxDOT grant targeted for improving sidewalks along Main Street.
• Reviewed the district’s strategic plan.
• Heard reports on ongoing MDD projects.