SEED to participate in Cline Shale study

The SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) Board of Directors approved the financial participation in a Cline Shale study performed by the University of Texas at San Antonio during their meeting on Monday morning.Prior to the approval, the board met in a 45-minute executive session held to discuss economic development/real property negotiations/personnel matters. Upon returning from the closed session, approval was given on the item.Ken Becker, the executive director of SEED, stated that half of the study will be funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. The workforce commissions in Abilene and San Angelo workforce will cover 25% each.SEED will offer funding at the amount of $3,500, which will allow them to use and benefit from the study to learn about the Cline Shale. Additionally, some entities within the county would be able to get a copy as well.Becker also discussed the Cline Shale during his Executive Director's update, as a meeting with the Cline Shale Consortium is scheduled for next week. And after the recent Nolan County Forward Planning meeting, plans are being made to have a city-wide meeting sometime in June so that citizens can learn about the potential impact from the incoming oil development.The budget for the next fiscal year was also noted by Becker, as the board was able to look at the budgets from the past two years for comparison and see possible changes. SEED staff plans on bringing a finalized budget to hopefully be approved at the June meeting.Travel was one aspect of the budget discussed, as SEED has taken part in the national AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) meetings in the past few years. Sweetwater is still a big player in the wind business, but attendance numbers at the national meeting have fluctuated.However, solid businesses within the wind industry are still present, and local businesses who attended this year's conference in Chicago enjoyed the experience. SEED will no longer have a booth at the AWEA conference, but Sweetwater will still have a presence with their involvement with the Highground entity.Also during the meeting, the March 2013 financial statements were reviewed and approved. Items briefly discussed in the statements were sales tax and local unemployment numbers, with the latter local total faring well in comparison to the state and national averages.In addition, the payment of accounts payable were approved, as well as the minutes from the April 8 regular meeting and the May 1 special-called meeting.