SEED gives update on Cline Shale Alliance

The SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) Board of Directors met on Monday morning for their regular monthly meeting at the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce, with updates given on the two entities that are getting area businesses and communities prepared for and informed on the Cline Shale oil development.As stated by SEED Executive Director Ken Becker in his update, the Cline Shale Alliance met this past Friday in Snyder, with a group of about 100 participants. He added that the group decreased in number--as the Alliance meeting held in Sweetwater in April had over 200 attendees--due to the fact that some feel that the shale is taking longer than expected.The other entity is the Cline Shale Consortium, which was started by the Workforce Solutions offices in Abilene and San Angelo. The biggest difference between the two groups is that while the Consortium is non-profit, the Alliance is a for-profit organization.Becker also offered information on the existing industrial park, as Washita Valley is making progress on their lot. Select Energy has fenced their property, while the agreement with Crest Pumping Technologies continues to be worked on.As with any incoming venture, Becker acknowledged that rumors and naysayers may abound, but businesses are still interested in coming to the area. On the other side of the coin, however, SEED hopes to prepare itself for any companies that come to the area but later leave in the instance that business isn't as large as they expected.In addition, a brief update on a possible new logo was presented by Kirstin Smith, SEED's Asst. Marketing/Admin. Director. By changing the existing logo to promote the economic development aspect while including a Texas map to show Sweetwater's location, they hope the updated logo will be more informative. The board was in favor of the new logo and the transition will begin soon.A few action items were also presented and approved at the meeting, such as the proposed budget for the 2013-2013 fiscal year. Added to this year's budget were designated funds for oil, gas and rail conferences and tradeshows.Furthermore, the May 2013 financial statements were reviewed and approved, with sales tax numbers faring well. The report also noted a 5.6% unemployment rate in May for Nolan County.The payment of accounts payable was approved as well, along with the minutes from the June 10 meeting.