A sustainable and healthy economic base is vital to a growing community. Both Williamson and Bell counties have been experiencing these economic changes. We must ensure that no one is left out and that all can benefit from everyone’s hard work. Attracting businesses from other areas is certainly one aspect. Many of our residents are commuters to the Austin area. We can certainly entice engineering and technology firms to relocated to District 31 with cheaper office space and lower cost of living compared to Austin.
However, like a business, it’s the organic growth that attracts investments. Dell is one well-known local business in this area. Having businesses, large and small, starting up locally will create the sustainable economic foundation to help keep our counties vibrant. Green energy is one of the fastest growing industries of our economy. With cheaper land and repurposing older warehouses, this creates a unique opportunity for District 31 to be a hub for green manufacturing. Coupled with quality colleges, our community can graduate engineers and workers with the technical skills to help us succeed in this growing industry. Constructing self-sufficient buildings is big business in the south. The archaic rules and regulations hindering water reclamation and solar panel installation need to be adjusted. On the agricultural front, drought tolerant crops will be beneficial to sustaining local farming. The Texas wine industry has sky rocketed in the last few years and demand for Texas grapes is at an all-time high. Vineyards take up far less water than traditional crops and have proven to be a great cash crop for the 21st century. In addition, we must also transform our transportation system to support rail. This will further help to spur economic growth and development. This sustainable and smart way of growing our economy will help make Williamson and Bell county known as an ideal place for exporting goods and reliable services. This will also help create a stable tax base to support public transit systems, pay for military training and readiness at Fort Hood, health care, and tuition free college.
Congressman John Carter’s outdated approach of letting the few run our economy only stunts the full potential for our area. We MUST be forward thinking and have forward thinking representatives, like Mike Clark, who will help promote and foster an economy that benefits everyone.