Production Tax Credit discussed at SEED meeting

The monthly meeting for the board of directors of SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) was held on Monday morning, Feb. 13, 2012 at the Chamber of Commerce.The annual audit report for the 2010-2011 fiscal year was presented by Cathy Wilks and approved by the board. A clean opinion was given as the year in review from a financial perspective was shared with the board, which noted the increase in sales tax numbers from the past year.The December 2011 financial statements were also reviewed and approved by the board. The unemployment rate for Sweetwater was reported at 5.9%, under the state and national averages of 7.2% and 8.3%, respectively.Additionally, the payment of accounts payable were approved along with the minutes from the January 2012 meeting.The update from Asst. Marketing/Admin. Director Kirstin Smith highlighted an update from the Nolan County Central Appraisal District (NCCAD), the accounts payable process and the new booth to be used for trade shows.The search for companies to design the new booth has now been narrowed down to three. Financially, the booth is on track and will be used at the AWEA conference on June 3-6, 2012.In addition, some changes were noted regarding the accounts payable process, with the changes to be implemented immediately by the board.Smith also recently attended a NCCAD meeting which discussed the route of the market, which proved to be a market correction rather than a down market and is projected to stay flat. Three-year cycles are now used to ensure an organized and consistent process.Areas noted during the NCCAD meeting were residential, agriculture and the wind and industry markets. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) will have a major impact and if not renewed would offer a bleak outlook. Ken Becker, the Executive Director, gave his monthly update which also noted the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in regards to his recent trip to Washington, D.C. He was able to meet with a number of congressmen and senators, with one particular meeting deemed as a positive interaction. The trip was noted as a great process which helped to establish relationships.Becker also recently attended a Site Selectors Guild in Orlando, Florida, which was reported as a good event as positive, two-way discussion between the host and the attendees took place. It was discovered at the meeting that website information is vital to site selectors, and Sweetwater is doing well with more progress to be made.Progress at the Sweetwater Business Park was also briefly discussed in that future signs are being considered. Contact has also been made with engineers in regards to lighting and costs.In addition, SEED has been a strong factor in the wind expansion program involving Buzzi-Unicem and Texas Tech University. The program, in its eighth year, is making headway.Also discussed were a few other updates, including a local building being leased and a new restaurant, Texas Chicken, to be established at the former Golden Chick location. SEED will also take part in an upcoming recycling convention in April as well as a plastics show.