GEDC approves paying for Memorial Museum upgrades


The Gonzales Economic Development Corporation will foot the bill for $325,000 in structural improvements to the Gonzales Memorial Museum after approving a budget amendment for that amount at their Monday, Nov. 28, meeting.

That work will include drainage improvements to the underground crawl space, structural repairs and ventilation with Hodges Construction performing the work. That project is expected to start in mid-December and be completed by Sept. 30, 2023.

The City Council will first need to approve the expenditure at their own meeting on Dec. 8 before the funds can be used. GEDC originally approved a motion to obligate the funding at their Sept. 26 meeting, with $150,000 coming from a line item in the 2022-23 budget for Community Facility Development and the remaining $175,000 coming from EDC fund balance.

“The board is pleased to help preserve the Museum which houses the cannon and other important artifacts,” said Jennifer Kolbe, GEDC executive director.

The GEDC board also approved a Main Street Improvement grant for property at 810 Saint Paul Street, where Guillermo Palomera will open Willie’s Sports Bar and Grill in the building which was formerly the Silver Star years ago. Palomera plans to pave the parking lot, add a fire suppression system, and make other improvements to the building to get it ready for businesss and will employ a minimum of 5 employees.

“We look forward to seeing another building in the historic Main Street district preserved for years to come,” Kolbe added.

Board members also approved a contract with the Texas ED Connection, a marketing and lead generation firm that works to attract small to midsize manufacturing companies to Texas.

“Gonzales can then respond to request for information from these companies as to why we are a good location for their firms,” Kolbe said. “Manufacturers create primary jobs, which is the focus of business retention and attraction for the GEDC.

“Primary job employers make goods that are exported outside of the region, the money they make from selling these items is then brought into the community and used to pay employees, utilities, raw materials, local suppliers and often results in contributions to support community events like Winterfest and organizations like Little League, Norma’s House and others.”

The board thanked former board members Andy Rodriguez, Gerri Lawing and Larry Wehde for their service to GEDC and the community. The current board includes president Ken Morrow; vice president Chris Brunken; secretary Dr. Elmer Avellenada; treasurer Rafe Jackson; and directors Dan Blakemore, Melissa Cowey and Ryan Lee.

The financial statements were approved and will be filed for audit. Sales tax revenue continues to trend upwards, Kolbe said.

The board also reviewed the report of the recent Board retreat, a marketing report from the real estate agent that has the Lynn Theater listed, and updates on various GEDC funded city projects.

A closed session was held under Section 551.072 to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person. No action was taken after the closed session.

The Gonzales Economic Development Corporation is a Type 4b Texas economic development corporation that collects a one-half cent sales tax off taxable goods purchased in the City of Gonzales for the purpose of promoting economic development in Gonzales, Texas. The board meets the fourth Monday of the month. Readers can learn more about the GEDC by visiting