|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Ag. Commissioner names county Certified Retirement Community
Polk County Enterprise - August 2009
LIVINGSTON — Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples met with Polk County leaders Thursday to recognize the community as a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community (CRC). The CRC program helps communities attract retirees and potential retirees to make their homes in Texas. Polk County Joins 27 other cities and counties across the state as a CRC member. “I extend my most sincere oongratulations to the citizens and leaders of Polk County for achieving this notable certification,” Staples said. “Not only do retirees have a significant economic impact on retirement areas, but they also bring a wealth of knowledge and energy to community service, employment and business.”
The CRC announcement was made at the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce just before noon Thursday with city, county and tribal officials as well as local business leaders. “Texas is now the second most popular retirement state in the nation,” Staples said. “Look out Florida, because we're going to be No. 1.” Texas was the top state in the nation in tourism with 200 million travelers spending $60 billion while visiting Texas, Staples added. Retirees spend an average $42,500 each year in their respective communities, while also paying $3,000 or more in state and local taxes. Polk County leaders are confident the recent designation will open the door for more economic development opportunities.
As part of the CRC designation, Polk County has launched a website at www.retireinpolkcountytexas. com. “Attracting one retired couple to the community is the economic equivalent of creating 3.7 factory jobs,” Staples said. “Polk County applauds Commissioner Staples and TDA for the leadership role they have taken in this initiative, and their development of a program that will be a driving force In the future growth of Texas,” Polk County Judge John P. Thompson said. “The retirement industry represents a significant, positive economic resource for communities throughout the state, and Polk County is especially pleased to receive this certification.” Other state officials added their congratulations on the designation. “l congratulate Polk County on being designated a GO TEXAN Retirement Community,” Rep, John Otto said.
“Now, more Texans and migrating Texans will know what a great place Polk County is for retirees.” “Polk County is a great area to represent and a wonderful place for retirees,” Sen. Robert Nichols said. “I appreciate the hard work of Commissioner Staples and TDA in getting the word out about Polk County and all it has to offer retirees.” Otto and Nichols sent staff members to deliver their messages of support at Thursday’s announcement. To become a CRC, communities must complete an application and retirement desirability assessment covering a wide range of topics, including demographics, tax structure, local housing availability, safety, employment opportunities, availability of health care services, public transportation and more. Polk County’s application was drafted by Debbie Harlow under contract with the county.
The application process also requires communities to submit a marketing plan and long-term plan for maintaining and improving desirability for retirees. An independent volunteer advisory team representing leaders in business, healthcare, city/state government end retirees reviews and scores the applications. “The Texas Department of Agriculture is looking forward to working with Polk County and our other certified retirement communities in a campaign to make Texas the No. 1 retirement destination in America,” Staples said. The CRC program is open to any community in Texas that wants to showcase itself as a retirement location and a tourist destination. Interested communities should contact TDA’s Rural Economic Development Division toll-free at 877-428-7848 or e-mail to finance@TexasAgriculture.gov, For more information on the GO TEXAN CRC program, please visit TDA’s Web site at http://www. texasagriculture.gov and click on Retire in Texas.