Shale activity discussed at SEED meeting Monday

The SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) board of directors met on Monday for their monthly meeting, in which it was reported during staff updates that SEED recently participated in the local John Ben Shepperd leadership forum, with Sweetwater being used as a model for the program.The leadership program in Sweetwater is the only one that allows alumni--senior students--to participate for a second year. All four Nolan County schools are invited to participate, with SEED staff noting that the program has proven beneficial to area high school juniors and seniors.A brief recap was also given on the recent AWEA conference attended by SEED staff, in that their downsized, combined presence at the conference with The High Ground of Texas was a good move. Discussion will soon take place about possible coverage at next year's event without the presence of a booth.An update on the activity within the Cline Shale was also given, following some dialogue exchanged between SEED and Devon Energy. While many still wonder the validity of the shale, various news articles have cited that more activity is taking place.Looking ahead, preliminary budget numbers will be presented to the board at the June meeting, with a final report expected to be completed by the July meeting, which has been scheduled on July 21. BNSF will be having their grand opening on October 7th, while Buzzi Unicem is still working on a date for their ceremony.Also during the meeting, the March 2014 financial statements were approved and reviewed by SEED's executive director Ken Becker. It was noted that sales tax numbers are up $11,000 from last year, while unemployment for the county stands at 4.5%.The payment of accounts payable was approved, as well as the minutes of the April 2014 meeting.