Commissioners hope to ‘hit reset’ on airport development

Published 12:28 am Friday, June 21, 2019

NEDERLAND — The Jefferson County Commissioners will look to hit the “reset button” on the development at Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said certain “benchmarks” were set in the leases between the county and GLOW Investment Group.

“[GLOW Investment Group] missed the timeline for performance in the lease documents,” Branick said. “That’s not to say we won’t hear proposals for any and all interested groups for development in that area. It will have to be on strict timelines.”

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Precinct 2 Commissioner Brent Weaver said the county will terminate the interlocal agreement between the county, the city of Nederland and Nederland Economic Development Center due to it being tied to GLOW Investment Group.

“Everyone has been working hard on developing the property at the airport,” Weaver said. “We executed some leases with the developers and those leases have expired. We’ve been waiting several years to develop that land.”

Nederland EDC Executive Director Kay DeCuir said she was unaware of the agenda items until media started calling her.

“There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” she said. “We have been working with [Texas Department of Transportation] back in 2016. In the last 12 months, we have been working with them to get the new road in for them. They have to have a drainage analysis to get that done. I’ve been focusing on getting the infrastructure in place that the EDC was going to pay on behalf of the county. My job is not focused on the leases. My job has been focused on making this happen.”

DeCuir said she will go to the commissioners’ court meeting on Monday to plead her case.

However, Weaver said the leases are voided and it is time to move on and he is “cautiously optimistic” about the future of development of the land at the airport.

DeCuir said she hopes she can change the minds of the other commissioners Monday.

City Manager Chris Duque said he did not foresee there being in hesitation on behalf of the city in entering another interlocal agreement with the county to develop the land.

The commissioners will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday on the fourth floor of the Jefferson County Courthouse.