SEED board approves incentive agreement

The SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) board of directors approved an employee agreement with Blackland Services during their meeting held on Monday.Although the SEED board approved the item, the Sweetwater City Commission must also give approval. The full time equivalent (FTE) employee agreement is valued at a maximum amount of $480,000 over a six-year total time (five years for the contract).Also during the meeting, the board gave approval authorizing SEED staff to negotiate the purchase of less than two acres of land from Oncor. Both items were approved in open session, but were discussed in executive session.Approval was also given to the November 2013 financial statements, which were reviewed briefly at the meeting. Sales tax numbers saw in increase, and the totals for the past seven years were the best in the town’s history. Unemployment remained the same as last month’s report, standing at under five percent.The payment of accounts payable were additionally reviewed and approved, and the minutes of the December 2013 meeting were approved as well.A brief update was also given by SEED’s executive director Ken Becker, in that a groundbreaking for Buzzi Unicem--who is working on a $200 million expansion--is tentatively set for April. Overall, around $259.52 million work of expansion is currently taking place in the country.This total amount of work does not include new, incoming companies, such as the 20 oil companies that have established themselves in the area. However, the importance of the Cline Shale oil development is gaining momentum, as noted in a recent publication.