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Lockhart welcomes tortilla factory

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

One of the first residents of Lockhart”s Industrial Park, Phase II will be an Austin-based tortilla factory.
Margarita”s Tortilla Factory, a family-owned company involved in food manufacturing and wholesale distribution. The 7-year-old company makes homemade, organic tortillas. Currently, their products are distributed i

n Austin at Central Market stores, and they have recently signed a contract that will more than double their production.
Working with City of Lockhart staff, the company has negotiated for the purchase of just over one acre in the Lockhart Industrial Park, where they will build a new production facility and a retail storefront.
The Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) recommended to the city council during a joint meeting on Monday that up to $10,000 be invested to help with the factory”s relocation. More than $7,000 of that money will be used to offset impact fees, according to LEDC president Lew White.
“Some of the funds will be used to help them with soil preparation and retention so they can build out there,” he said. “But we estimate that around $7,000 will apply to impact fees.”
The council unanimously approved making the investment in the company, and agreed to allow the property to be sold as negotiations between the city and Margarita”s Tortilla Factory continue.
Early this month, two Lockhart businessmen approached the council to request a zoning change to allow for resource extraction (mining) within the city limits.
Currently, a gravel pit operates on Lovers Lane within the city limits. However, because the pit was in existence prior to the area”s annexation, the property falls under a grandfather clause and mining is still allowed.
However, the pit”s owner has recently signed a large contract and his gravel resources will not be sufficient to fill the contract. Working with the owner of an adjoining property, they reached an agreement for gravel to be extracted from a 24-acre tract on Reed Road, provided the city gave the project the nod. To date, no zone exists to allow for resource extraction within the city limits.
After much discussion regarding the impact on the city, the council reached a 2-2 tie vote to create zoning regulations for resource extraction, with Councilmember Kenny Roland abstaining. Because of the tie, the motion died on the table. However the council will likely revisit the issue after more consideration.
“I voted against it so we can explore the options we have for the area residents, for the county offices and for the reclamation of the property,.” White said.
In brief council news:
The council discussed tax rates for the coming fiscal year. According to preliminary figures, revenues lost as a result of tax freezes may result in a significant increase. A public hearing will be held on Sept. 1 to discuss any new tax rate.
The city”s code of ordinances will be changed to reflect the decision to extend reductions in road impact fees for another six months. The council will revisit the issue in February.
Lockhart will continue participation in the Carrizo-Wilcox Underground Water Supply group, at an additional cost of around $1,400 to the city.

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