SEED increases incentive agreement with Cape and Son

The meeting of the SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) board of directors took place on Monday morning, December 10 at the Chamber of Commerce.Opening the meeting was an executive session, which lasted around 35 minutes to discuss various matters. After the closed meeting, approval was given to increase the incentive agreement amount and terms for Cape and Son. Geoff Haney with the company made a brief presentation to the board, noting that around 50 contractors recently submitted bids for dirt and track.The new proposal outlined would double the incentive and now total $520,000, which would also include an added piece of equipment from the original agreement and a minimum requirement of 1,800 cars per year.More entities are also getting involved, as two more sand companies--which would bring in high volume--have been added to the three original tenants. In addition, some crude companies are also showing interest.Haney stated that Cape and Son is getting close to where they want to be in this effort. Prior to the approval, SEED board president Arthur Maberry spoke on behalf of the board, noting their excitement on the project since its inception. The expectation for the project is for some work to begin at the first part of 2013, but to be completely operational in early May 2013.Other action items presented at the meeting were the minutes from the November meeting and the payment of accounts payable, both of which were approved. Also approved by the board were the October 2012 financial statements, which were reviewed by SEED's executive director Ken Becker.Sales tax numbers were discussed, in that they are up from the 2010 rates but significantly lower from the 2011 numbers due to the one-time increase. Unemployment in October for the county came in at 5%--a positive number which also poses some concern as the upcoming oil expansion will increase the number of available jobs.Rounding out the financial review was a question on the status of SEED's joint wind project with Texas Tech University. He noted that contact is still being made towards its progress, but the uncertainty of the Production Tax Credit is playing a role in the next steps of the project.