Industrial site entering engineering and construction phase

The Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) Board of Directors met on Monday morning, Feb. 14, for its regular session meeting.Various action items were presented and approved at the meeting. Among them were the financial statements from December 2010. The board was very pleased with the sales tax numbers that were presented in the report and also noted that the numbers were higher from the previous year. Also approved at the meeting were the minutes from the meetings held in January and the payment of accounts payable.Another approval made regarding finances was the SEED Audit for 2009-2010 which was reviewed at the meeting. Cathy Wilks presented the report to the board and praised them for their strong attention to detail in compiling the information.In addition, the board approved the Site Selection Consulting Program. The consulting firm has a reputation for working with small communities, making the relationship between the firm and the community a promising one. The company would target industries that would work well in Sweetwater.A contract was also approved at the meeting with Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd on the 88 acre industrial site. The site is going into the next phase, engineering and construction, and the company would be overseeing these tasks. The company is based out of Abilene, and with this next step the board hopes to give the community a visual update on the site.An update was given at the meeting by Kirstin Smith, Assistant Marketing and Admin. Director. The date for Senior Interview Day was announced as April 27. Both Roscoe and Sweetwater schools are slated to participate in the third annual event.Smith also gave an update on the website, mentioning many of its new features. The site now includes interactive maps from the local, state and national perspective and items such as interstates and railroads can be included on the maps. Other features include social media postings from Facebook and access to anything on the entire site, something the previous website did not allow.The website is specifically for economic development and SEED wanted the site to be visually appealing with available information. The new site prompts continual updates, but Smith reiterated that the more connections the site has, the result would lead to more website views, leading to a higher standing on search engines such as Google.Executive Director Ken Becker also gave his monthly update during the meeting as well. SEED is currently in early talks with a crane company with the possibility of coming into Sweetwater. The company will be stationed in Abilene until the end of the year and is looking for a permanent location.Briefly mentioned in the report were talks with various companies, including EMA Electromechanics who are looking for two employees. Also, SEED is working alongside the Workforce Center in Abilene with an entrepreneurial program. The board recognizes that the desire for entrepreneurship is evident and growing and is striving for the community to be entrepreneur-friendly.