The Lead June 7, 2022: Kerrville will change terms of aerospace agreement

The Economic Improvement Corp. meets today to discuss making changes to the city's position in the project.

Good morning, Kerr County!

It's hot and disgusting, with no end in sight. The National Weather Service, which seems to lowball temperatures, forecasts highs at nearly 100 degrees or warmer through Sunday. The Weather Channel and Weather Underground are more pessimistic, with high heat forecast through next Wednesday.

On today's The Lead Live!

Kerr Economic Development Corp.'s Theresa Metcalf will discuss some of their recent projects. The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Julie Davis will give us a take on the event calendar. Join us at 9 a.m.

Note about this week's newsletter

Due to our travel schedule this week, we may not be able to provide a newsletter on Thursday and Friday mornings. However, we're going to provide a newsletter on Saturday.

Speaking of events

As the Kerrville Folk Festival ends its 18-day run this weekend, another significant event kicks off Saturday — the Model A Club of America's convention.


This could be one of Kerrville's most prominent events, with an estimated 200 owners of Ford Model A cars will be visiting. They are taking over the Y.O. Ranch Hotel, with overflow at Inn of the Hills and Best Western.

The Model A, of course, would probably never existed if it had been Henry Ford's choice. Ford, famously, was satisfied with the Model T — so much so the company had to beg him to switch things up. In 1927, the Model A rolled out in four colors. So, if you see a ton of Model A's rolling by, that's why.

This week's featured Arcadia Live event!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Reckless Kelly

7 p.m. doors open

7:30 p.m. — Pat Byrne Band

  • Pat Byrne, along with his string trio, is coming off a memorable set at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and now he's back for more.

Pat Byrne will open for Reckless Kelly on Thursday night.

9 p.m. — Reckless Kelly

  • Reckless Kelly has graced the musical landscape with a high-powered form of Americana, equally rooted in raw passion, refined musicianship, and gritty authenticity. With the dual release of two new albums—American Jackpot and American Girls—the Idaho-bred band presents a beautifully detailed portrait of their beloved country, turning their nuanced songwriting to its many glories and tragedies.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by

Today's events

  • Texas Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit — Hill Country Arts Foundation., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Through June 30. Information: The details: The Hill Country Arts Foundation is hosting the Texas Watercolor Society's 73rd National Exhibit. This exhibit features watercolor pieces by over forty artists from across the United States. In 1949, TWS was founded by Margaret Pace Willson and Amy Freeman Lee with the mission to advance the art of painting in watercolors, and hold annual exhibitions of watercolor paintings. Today, more than 60 years later, TWS continues to promote the high standards set by its founders. Thus, as a national exhibit, TWS proudly takes its place among the elite watercolor organizations in the nation.
  • Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition (Recurring through Saturday) — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: The details: Featuring works by renowned artists who celebrate the heavens. The exhibition will feature works by Phil Bob Borman, G. Russell Case, Tim Newton, Laurel Daniel, Linda Glover Gooch, David Griffin, David Grossman, Michael Magrin, Denise LaRue Mahlke, Phil Starke and John Taft.
  • Southwest Gourd Show — Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: See some of the finest examples of gourd-based art and uses during this unique exhibit that runs through July 9.

The Kerrville Folk Festival

8 p.m. The Threadgill Theater, Sundown Concert

  • W.C. Clark
  • Albert and Cage

One more event

Last week, we learned about the YMCA's Roberts Ranch in Comfort and their Tuesday series showcasing the natural landscape of the Kerr County camp.

While it's probably too late to attend today's 8 a.m. bird-watching excursion, the camp offers nature walks and talks on June 14 and 21. Check out their events page on Facebook for more information:

Kerrville EIC and Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing re-work deal

Kerrville's Economic Improvement Corporation could change the terms of its financing arrangement with Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing — clearing the way for the North Dakota-based aerospace company to continue its efforts to build a new production center.

The need for new financing comes after Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing ran into trouble with the cost of its proposed building near the Kerrville-Kerrville-Kerr County Airport. The company's original contractor backed out, forcing Killdeer to rebid the project — at a significantly higher cost.

The EIC meets today at 4 p.m. at Kerrville City Hall to consider a plan that puts the EIC on an equal lien-footing with a North Dakota-based bank financing the deal for Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing.

Dacotah Bank will finance more than $6 million needed to complete Killdeer's construction of the Texas Highway 27 facility — which nearly doubled in its estimated costs from 2020. However, the bank wanted changes made to the agreement that eliminated some of the specificity of the 2020 plan. The bank seeks to remove specifics around the initial deal's expectations — providing a broader opportunity to succeed.

Initially, the plan was to cost $4 million, with the city arranging to finance for at least $2 million.

Southern Oaks Baptist Church sites its new home

Southern Oaks Baptist Church Pastor Joe Taylor said he was brought to tears when he saw the architectural renderings for the church's proposed new home — along the banks of the Guadalupe River.

The church is planning a new campus on 56 acres on Bandera Highway. The church will need to spend $1 million to lift the church's foundation out of the flood plain. Building the church could cost another $5 million, but Taylor says the congregation is moving forward.

"Everything and all the children's and youth and all the activities are in a central location where you can keep people safe," Taylor said on Monday's episode of The Lead Live! "I had a vision of this property and when we sat down with the architects, I told them that I had in my prayer I had seen something that would be centralized around the fountain and where there would be a community."

As with every Christian church, water plays a major element in any service, and at this circular campus, the fountain is the focal point — both a reflection of the river and a center of baptismal work.

When Taylor presented his ideas to San Antonio-based architectural firm RVK Architects, he wasn't sure he expressed himself adequately.

"I left thinking there is absolutely no way they're going to be able to draw what I tried to express,'" Taylor said. "So, they hit it. They hit it out of the park. It is phenomenal, and actually, I don't cry very often."

One of the most dramatic elements will be a pair of butterflied roofs, including one over the main sanctuary.

"Some say it looks like an open Bible," Taylor said.

In another element, the campus opens up to the river, and the church will have an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the river and the Guadalupe River Trail, which will connect to the campus.

"We are trying to approach this in such a way that the unchurched will be excited about joining us," Taylor said.

H.E. Butt Foundation makes Kerr County contributions

Kerr County non-profit groups New Hope Counseling Center, Christian Women's Job Corps, Light on the Hill and Families and Literacy meet with H.E. Butt Foundation about their programming. Photo courtesy of the H.E. Butt Foundation.

The H. E. Butt Foundation awarded grants to four Kerr County nonprofits to continue their community work centered on families and children.

The Kerrville-based foundation launched a community engagement pilot program to assist New Hope Counseling Center, Christian Women's Job Corps, Light on the Hill at Mt. Wesley, and Families and Literacy.

"[Community engagement] is one of our youngest programs and stretches us to be in deeper relationship with the community," President and CEO of the H. E. Butt Foundation David Rogers said. "It has been rewarding to witness leaders step into this work with so much focus and enthusiasm. Given that Kerrville has been important to our family since 1905, we've enjoyed this chance to support local nonprofits whose work is aligned with ours."

Each nonprofit received an undisclosed grant disbursed in two parts.

"We recognize these leaders are devoting significant time to this work," said Dana Williams, director of community engagement at the H. E. Butt Foundation. "We also understand that it takes resources to build out infrastructure and expand staff," Williams said. "In rural areas like Kerrville, they don't always have access to the same volume of resources that larger urban nonprofits do."

This summer, the four nonprofits will finalize their plans and receive their second grant.

Don't sleep on COVID-19

There is considerable debate about the spread of COVID-19 across Texas and how to best mitigate it. And there are two extremes:

  • Do nothing, the seemingly Kerr County way of doing things.
  • Mask up, the seemingly non-Kerr County way of doing things.

A third option would be taking precautions without being overbearing — or having common sense. However, that's not the way in the time of coronavirus. Of course, COVID-19 is re-engaging with us, and there have been more than 20,000 new cases since last week. The positivity rate is now at 19%.

The one stat to watch is what this virus is doing to pediatric patients, with more than 90 children hospitalized. That's a significant increase since last week when about 60 children faced hospitalization.

This week, Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency room physician at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, wrote that COVID-19 is not to be taken lightly for children, but that doesn't mean we have to shut down schools.

"I think acknowledging the reality about Covid-19 in children is what will keep schools both open and safe," Faust said. "The truth is that while Covid-19 is mild in most kids, it is dangerous enough (and so highly contagious) that it has demonstrably caused an enormous burden of death, hospitalization, and downstream consequences in many, many kids. That being the case, it's worth doing something about."

A simple reminder is that COVID-19 has infected hundreds of Kerr County school children, and we've managed to stay ahead of it, but it remains a threat.

If you have a health, wellness and beauty business join us June 16

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