Wichita Falls Among Most Affordable Cities

If and when you move from one part of the country to another, there are so many things to consider: not the least of which is cost of living. If you live in our area, there’s some good news.

That good news is that the Council for Community and Economic Research shows Wichita Falls is among the most affordable places in the country to live, ranking 6th out of 10. The city is also the fourth cheapest when it comes to grocery sales, something Tom Teffeteller, who moved to town three years ago, really appreciates.

“I had to move down here. My wife has some health problems. The cost of living in Washington is a lot higher than what it is down here. Plus, she told me I could ride my bike at Christmas time,” said a smiling Teffeteller.

According to www.bestplaces.net, housing is almost 60 percent cheaper in Wichita Falls, compared to Washington state.

“It’s good for us.” But, the president of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, Henry Florsheim, explains having a low cost of living doesn’t just happen. He says a city needs enough companies offering enough jobs, enough housing and more. But, when it all comes together, ” You see a city with a low cost of living, that means, typically you can get more house for your money.”

Though the cost of living is considered inexpensive right now, Florsheim says nothing’s permanent. “It’s not anything we can control. The market dictates the price based up supply and demand. Whether you’re talking about a gallon of milk or a house,” Florsheim stated, and even those gallons of gas: which for know, Teffeteller says, are at an affordable price.

“Plus, the people down here are friendly too,” Teffeteller added.

As you can imagine New York, specifically Manhattan, ranks highest for places to live, followed by San Francisco at number two. Also, no surprise, Honolulu has the most expensive groceries, with an average gallon of whole milk costing about $9 a gallon.

A look at grant funding benefiting Wichita Falls

Several city of Wichita Falls departments are benefiting from grant funding that was awarded recently.

The Wichita Falls City Council will hold a regular meeting Tuesday, and accepting grant funds from various state and federal agencies is part of the agenda.

Health grant of $250,000

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health Department received $250,000 in renewal grant funding to continue their effort to lower the impact of obesity and related chronic disease.

The grant is from the Department of State Health Services for the Community and Clinical Health Bridge Project (CCHB).

The department will use these funds to coordinate with community health partners to improve health information technology, develop a referral system for improved obesity and other related chronic disease treatment, create more training and education for health care providers and patients, and encourage health lifestyles through health promotion and outreach.

During the first grant funding cycle, the health department said they made progress in laying the foundation for working with facilities and physicians.

Next, they hope to develop a database for health and wellness resources called Live Well Wichita County (LWWC). Some facilities will have kiosk or loanable tablets to access LWWC.

Funds will also be used for a media/public awareness campaign about the LWWC program.

WFPD gets $59K for facial recognition software

The Wichita Falls Police Department received a $59,000 grant through the Office of the Governor’s Homeland Security Grant Program.

The grant pays 100 percent without a cash match required. WFPD will use the funds to purchase facial recognition software and associated camera equipment.

4A puts $1.5 mil toward SAFB Main Gate upgrade

In hopes of future grant funding for the city, the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (WFEDC) is dedicating $1.5 million in their budget toward the Sheppard Air Force Base Main Gate upgrade.

About a year ago, SAFB received $2.7 million in military funds for the upgrade to the gate area. In July, the Department of Defense issued increased requirements for anti-terrorism or force protection that increased the cost of the gate project. The expected total is $5.7 million.

The city can apply for a state grant on behalf of the base through the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program. They are requesting $1.5 million and should know the outcome of the grant request by Dec. 14.

The WFEDC funds will assist the base with the gate project and safeguarding the areas on base and the surrounding area. The group decided this project will help the Wichita Falls area retain primary jobs and promotes and supports Sheppard.

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Three new buses with FTA funds

Free money is always good, and the city is getting nearly $1.3 million of it from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase three new buses.

Bids were open Sept. 22 for purchase of the buses and Gillig was the only company to respond. Transportation development credits of $275,200, along with FTA funds, will pay all of the cost of these buses for the city.

These new units could be used to replace existing buses, or the transportation department could determine if additional routes are needed in the city.

The custom-built buses are expected to be delivered sometime during fiscal year 2018-19, so the determination of additional routes will be made in FY 2019-2020.

Claire Kowalick, Times Record News Published 10:00 p.m. CT Nov. 5, 2017

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Working together to build businesses

KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

A brother and sister duo, who come from a family of entrepreneurs, will be celebrating a first this Saturday.

Brenna Pohlod, Owner of Clinkers, and her younger brother Rayce Pohlod, Owner of Texoma Tech Solutions, began their home-based businesses from the ground up.

Saturday, they will host a grand opening for their first storefront on Kemp Blvd.

“Making the step by yourself is really hard to do financially, emotionally. (It’s) time consuming, all of it. And then when he was looking for a bigger space I was like let’s try this. Let’s see if we can do this together,” Brenna said.

The dual space provides plenty of room for Rayce to repair electronics we use every day. There is also a back room that allows Brenna to host parties and store her personalized works of art.

The idea is to scratch each other’s back. Customers who come in to have their phone fixed can also buy a hand painted glass or vice versa.

This journey began several years ago for both Brenna and Rayce. They are both excited to see it come to fruition in the city they call home.

It also helped to have a family full of business owners to guide them along the way.

“It’s an adventure to have all of us doing our own thing so if we have a question we can ask another family member and they probably have an answer,” Rayce said.

It’s a stepping stone in the sibling’s separate business goals. But it is a move they are happy to make together.

“If you just have a passion for whatever you are doing as long as you put your heart and soul into it then whatever it is is going to be great,” Brenna said.

The storefront is located at 4216 Kemp Blvd. next to Discount Tire. The store is open Monday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.

A grand opening celebration is set to kick off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. For more information about Clinkers click here. For more information on Texoma Tech Solutions click here.

By Samantha Forester, Digital ReporterCONNECT
Copyright 2017 KAUZ All Rights Reserved

Local Businesses Set Up Pop Up Store

On Jacksboro highway a group of small business owners turned an empty building into a pop up shop for the day. Amy Thompson put together the pop up store because she knew a lot of people who had small businesses on the side and wanted to give them a place to sell their products

“We just kind of came up with it because of small business Saturday,” Thompson said. “We have lots of people that come into Karma that sell stuff on the side or make stuff. We just finished remodeling this space and we are going to rent it out for pop up shops. So, I thought why don’t we have a bunch of pop up shops for small business Saturday. “

Angela Solorio started her business, Paparazzi Accessories, in April of this year and says she is grateful for opportunities like this to set up her business.

“It’s very important. It’s very important. It’s a great thing to have the opportunity to do this,” Solorio said.

For small businesses events like small business Saturday are invaluable for people who own those business

“I think it is really important because you wouldn’t know about a lot of small businesses unless you came out to where we are all set up,” Thompson said. “You might not know that someone makes wreaths out of their house. Or someone does custom decals or really cute cupcakes.”

“It helps tremendously. It gets our name out. It gets our product out. And it just lets people know to buy local,” Solorio said.

The small business development center has a giveaway going on to promote shopping local.

Video Link

By: Landon McBride
Posted: Nov 25, 2017 05:36 PM CST
Updated: Nov 25, 2017 10:37 PM CST

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Lake Wichita efforts heating up

KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX


Greg Aultman grew up on Lake Wichita and has fond memories.

“Back in the 1960’s on Saturdays and Sundays this place was full,” Aultman said. “You would have to watch out when pulling somebody skiing.”

Now he’s retired and spends a lot of his time play music at the park. It’s a spot near and dear to his heart.

That’s why he’s so excited about Wichita Falls’ efforts to revitalize the lake.

“I think a lot of people would have good times out here,” Aultman said. “It would be cool. You could get out on the pier at night and walk your sweetheart across there. Steal a couple kisses. It would be pretty nice.”

On Tuesday, councilors accepted a $500,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to expand the boat ramp to four lanes, add a boat dock, seawall, restrooms, and a sidewalk.

In June of 2016, they accepted a separate $500,000 grant from the TPWD for a boardwalk and other shoreline improvements.

Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery said the city is considering a bond issue to pay for some of the shoreline improvements.

In the meantime, the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee will need to raise $666,000 to match both of those grants or they will have to be paid for by the city. However, the committee said they will be able to raise the funds.

Dockery said accepting these grants is just one piece of the puzzle.

“It’s really just a matter of prioritization,” he said. “A matter of deciding whether or not the public is interested in these types of improvements, how much private funding we can raise, and how much we can do at one time.”

“Anything we can do for the quality of life issues in Wichita Falls, things for families to do, things for kids to do, we want to enhance those,” Mayor, Stephen Santellana said.

Mayor Santellana believes the improvements will also help when recruiting businesses to the Falls.

“We can say look we have Castaway Cove, we have a golf park, a 20-mile walking trail,” he said. “All these beautiful parks, plus look at Lake Wichita and all the shoreline improvements with the boardwalk and Veterans Plaza.”

In the meantime, Aultman will continue to play his music at Lake Wichita Park and wait for the city’s vision to come to fruition.