The Odessa City Council last year approved funding $50,000 for the Odessa Convention and Visitors Bureau to lure a women’s professional golf tournament to the city. Ultimately organizers of the LPGA Symetra Tour went elsewhere.
But the City Council on Tuesday approved repurposing that money to incentivize local events that CVB officials project will bring in more people, including a large softball tournament.
Funds under the program aimed at recruiting sports events are awarded by the city as reimbursements to organizations that hit attendance targets that the CVB uses to project tax-generating hotel stays drawn by the events.
Applicants for the $50,000 included an all-star girls’ softball tournament expected to draw 7,000 attendees in July, 5,000 of whom would be traveling to Odessa from out of town. The CVB estimated an economic impact of $3.3 million.
A second applicant sought some of the money for a winter golf meet expected to draw 142 attendees, most of whom would also be visiting from out of town. The CVB expected that smaller event organized by the Pan American Golf Association would inject about $31,000 into the local economy and also award scholarships for local high school students.
District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton and District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant approved repurposing the money, while District 3 Councilwoman Barbara Graff voted no, citing objections to the winter golf tournament. District 4 Councilman Mike Gardner and District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales were absent.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE CITY COUNCIL:
>>Approved accepting an $85,000 donation for the Odessa Police Department from the 2018 Bustin’ for Badges event.
>>Approved minutes for meetings on May 22 and June 5.
>>Approved an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for temporary closure of Grant Avenue between Second and Sixth streets for the Firecracker Fandango event on June 30.
>>Approved renewal of an agreement with BBVA Compass for depository services.
>>Removed from the table, opened a public hearing and voted for the first time to approve a request of Triple J Investments to rezone a piece of land near the northwest corner of Dawn Avenue and Charles Walker Road to allow development of six-single family homes. The item had been tabled in March to address concerns of neighbors.
>>Approved abandoning alley right-of-way on less than an acre of land between North West County Road and Elliot Avenue.
>>Opened a public hearing and approved for the second time a request by Shanthi Thangam for original zoning of Retail-One on about one acre of vacant land to accommodate a jewelry store east of the intersection of the Highway 191 service road and Rocky Lane Road.
>>Opened a public hearing and approved for the first tie a request by Callon Petroleum Operating Company for original zoning of Future Development-Drill Reservation on nearly 90 acres of land near County Road 1305 in Midland County.
>>Discussed in a pre-meeting briefing session retail recruitment strategy, a water master plan for capital improvements, and two board appointments.