The corporation also honored Anthony Hawkins and Joe Enoch, two of its longest standing board members, upon their retirement from city council and their seats on the BCCDC board.
Though no letter of intent has been signed, Madison Development remains confident that the movie theater will continue to go forward, said Dunham.
Madison Development has committed to scale down their development efforts to include a renovation of Matagorda Plaza for the multi-screen movie theater with possible potential to develop the back of the property in the future, Dunham said.
When corporation president Clarence Fenner asked if she thought there was still any interest to continue any development, Dunham seemed positive.
“If they can purchase Matagorda Plaza for a reasonable price, they think they can put the movie theater there,” she said.
Dunham announced that the corporation received good news recently when it was awarded a $100,000-$150,000 grant to contract for a Sustainable Communities Case Study to be performed on the feasibility of turning a 30-acre track north of Wells Fargo Bank along Cottonwood Creek into a nicely developed downtown living area complete with new apartment housing with access to enhanced walking and biking trails along the creek and tying into the downtown area.
“While this is only a feasibility study, it might help us in the future with grant applications for the actual bricks and mortar needed to make the study a reality,” said Dunham.
Following the meeting, Enoch and Hawkins were presented tokens of appreciation and a few lavish words of praise from colleagues for their service to the corporation board of directors.
“I want to thank you both so much for your work and your leadership on the Bay City Community Development Corporation,” said Dunham.
“We’ve accomplished a whole lot. The list of things we did in this community under the leadership of you two guys is obvious, just drive down the street and you will see it. I think everybody can see it.”
BCCDC president Fenner called Hawkins’ and Enoch’s completion of service on the board of directors a “significant loss for the community.”
He praised Hawkins for teaching board members to always think outside of the box and Enoch for teaching them all to pay close attention to details.
“That’s what legacy and leadership is about,” Fenner said.
“That’s what you guys have given back to this community and to us. You’ve mentored, you’ve taught and you’ve nurtured those who you knew would be needed later on when we got to this moment.”
“You wanted to make sure that the right people with the right skill set were there at the right time. That’s real leadership and real vision. You can only get to that level of leadership when it comes from your heart.”
Hawkins thanked his colleagues for their recognition of his efforts.
“You’re right,” said Hawkins.
“This corporation has changed the landscape of Bay City. If you’ll continue in hard work, you’ll change it even more.”
“This corporation has mended some bridges, fostered some relationships; we’ve developed new relationships and I can only see good things ahead,” Hawkins said.
Enoch thanked the community for giving him the opportunity to serve on the corporation board for nine of the 11 years he served on city council, serving both as president and vice president of the board.
“What this corporation really means, that half-cent sales tax, is about relationships,” said Enoch.
“Relationships in terms of working together with Matagorda County, Palacios and the City of Bay City collectively to what I believe is building an economic engine that I’ve talked about so many times.”
He praised the economic development team of Dunham, Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation executive director Owen Bludau, and Chamber president Mitch Thames, calling them a “formidable team.”
He left the current board of directors with a challenge.
“The role that this board now serves is difficult,” said Enoch.
“It’s easy to be an economic and community developer when you have about three percent unemployment, but when you’re facing the economy we’re facing today—it’s global, we have to be strong and pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.”
“This group right here has a lot of collective experience and I just continue to believe that you will develop continuous plans to help our community succeed.”
The meeting ended with a short reception to celebrate some of the successes of the corporation over Hawkins’ and Enoch’s time of service.
Current and former colleagues who gathered to celebrate with them included the current BCCDC board of directors, the corporation staff, Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald, Bay City Mayor Mark Bricker, former Mayor Richard Knapik, former Councilman and corporation board member Brent Marceaux, former public works director Clark Young, Thames and Bludau.