Discussion begins on possibility for second industrial park

During their meeting on Tuesday morning, December 11, the Sweetwater City Commission approved the proposal by SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) to sell real estate located inside the Sweetwater Business Park, the 88-acre industrial site.Thirty acres will be sold to Select Energy, as an incentive agreement has already taken place. They are hoping to build a regional office with this real estate and are anticipating a work base of up to 50 employees in the next two years.Furthermore, forty acres will be sold to Washita Valley. For both businesses, up to one hundred workers could be employed in the next two years.But now that seventy of the eighty-eight acres have now been sold, SEED's Executive Director Ken Becker, who presented the information at the meeting, was asked about any plans for another industrial park. He said that discussion on the matter is already taking place, as ideas were brought up at SEED's November meeting.An addendum to the city agenda was another SEED-related issue, in which approval was given to abandon the street located in the business park and to quit the claim deed. As a result, the street lights, provided by Oncor, will be taken down.Also regarding SEED, approval was given toward their incentive to Cape and Son. The incentive will be doubled from the original $260,000 and will now total $520,000.In addition, the annual car minimum has now been increased to 1,800 cars per year. Cape and Son is anticipating more opportunities with the upcoming oil expansion, and they hope to bring more rail exposure to Sweetwater through this opportunity.In other action items presented, approval was given to appoint Richard Fergeson as the city appointee to the County-City Library Board. He will fill the term of Frances Johnson, which will expire on December 31, 2013.Beverly Creed, Martha Taylor and Marina Nemir were also approved as city appointees to the Pioneer Museum Board with their terms to expire on December 31, 2014. While one appointee will be replacing a current board member, two new seats have been added which will be filled in this capacity.And through the Texas Buy Board, the city commission approved the purchase of a Vermeer brush chipper. The item is budgeted in the Capital Improvements Fund for refuse disposal for no more than $40,000; the city will be making the purchase for around $37,000, which will be used primarily in the landfill but also in alleys.Approval was also given for the renewal of the contract with Melody's Southwest Consortium for drug and alcohol testing services, in which random tests have been administered on past occasions. The minutes from the meeting held on November 13 were approved at the meeting as well.