The real key to success for the city’s future is partnerships, Mayor Scott Cain told those attending the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon on Wednesday.
Cain and City Manager Rick Holden delivered a state of the city address during the luncheon.
“We’re looking at ways to partner with others,” he said. “Look for more partnerships where we want to come alongside and instead of telling you, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ we want to sit down with you and come up with solutions because business is the driving factor for our economy.”
Cain reflected on the city’s successes over the past years, such as the reopening of Market Square and the Operation Cleburne Pride program.
Focusing on the future plans for the city and improvements, Cain talked about the growth expected from the Chisholm Trail Parkway. New businesses have come to Cleburne and more are planned.
This was confirmed as chamber President Cathy Marchel introduced 27 new chamber members.
“These are the new members since the last quarterly luncheon and we are so excited to have that many joining,” Marchel said.
The mayor also addressed topics that have been contentious for the city during his tenure.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about our code enforcement downtown,” Cain said. “We have to take action to preserve those beautiful buildings before we lose them for all time. We’re working on that.
“I’m calling on our council to develop a building standards plan that is unique to downtown that recognizes the importance of preserving those historical buildings but also recognizes that you can’t do it all at one time. You have to do it progressively to allow businesses to be able to be profitable so that we can breathe life back into those buildings.”
He said starting Wednesday the city will be working on cleaning up downtown and enhancing it with funds from the TIF by painting traffic signals, installing banners and hopefully putting in wider sidewalks.
“It’s time to let the dust start flying downtown so we can generate more excitement about what is going on there,” he said.
Plans to build a railroad museum are progressing, Cain said, despite the lack of budget for it. The railroad committee will be presenting a plan to the 4B board to conduct a feasibility study to see about using the old First Financial Bank facility for the museum.
“We have to be creative,” he said. “We have to look for money in federal grants and we’ve got to use entrepreneurship to fund the maintenance and operating.”
A restaurant and store are two possibilities for funding it, he said.
“We have a great history here in Cleburne, Texas,” Cain said. “It’s a great day and it’s a great day coming up on the horizon.”
Chamber Executive Vice President Tara Janszen announced the Young Professionals of Cleburne program.
The organization, which is an extension of the chamber, is geared towards 20- to 40-year-old business professionals.
“Our mission is to connect, develop and engage young professionals in Cleburne to have a positive impact on the future of the community,” Janszen said.
The YPC vision is to encourage members to be leaders in business and the community.
The program will begin with a kick-off event at from 7:45-9 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Cleburne Conference Center. A reservation is required for the breakfast meeting.
For information, call 817-645-2455.