Downtown Bryan Association Gets Boost In Funding For New Roles

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BRYAN, Texas The Downtown Bryan Association is getting a big boost in funding from the City of Bryan as they work to bring more people to the historic area and take over the city's Texas Reds Festival.

News 3 has the budget breakdown.

Growth in Downtown Bryan is welcome news to small business owner Earlene Butcher.

For the last six year's she's owned Jim N-I on West 26th Street.

"We love our little downtown. It's unique and it's just want we wanted it to develop into and there's all kinds of good happening," said Butcher.

The Downtown Bryan Association's budget is now $165,000 from the city, which used to be around $50,000. But they are taking on more roles and responsibilities.

$142,400 of their budget is going towards salaries including $55,000 for the executive director, and $40,000 each for the operations and events directors.

There's also $7,400 budgeted for two Texas A&M interns.

Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski says some of those new roles include running Texas Reds.

"DBA is needing a lot more help and assistance and workers to help with all the activities and to manage all the activities in Downtown Bryan," said Mayor Bienski.

Al Saenz was sworn in as the newest Bryan City Council Member Monday and now represents the Downtown area.

"I see a lot of positive change and improvement in what we've built upon in the past. And I just want to continue the trajectory that the business is going in Downtown Bryan," he said.

Downtown Bryan Association Executive Director Sandy Farris says this is the first time they've had three full-time staff.

"And the goal is obviously at some point to become less reliant on city funds and reliant on our own sources of revenue," Farris said.

"'That's what we are offering , something unique to this area," added Earlene Butcher.

An area businesses here hope will continue to appeal to visitors from near and far.

The Downtown Bryan Association also raises its own revenue by leasing out the Queen Theatre Marquee and managing the Palace Theater.

$120,000 of the non profit's funding is coming from taxes that visitors pay to stay in hotels, while another $45,000 is from Bryan's General Fund.