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Tech company plans Lockhart location

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A deal struck by the Lockhart City Council on Tuesday will allow a high-tech medical company to build a production and storage facility in the Lockhart Industrial Park.

After several months of negotiations with representatives of the City of Lockhart and the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation, Erik Andersen of Ad

viTech, Inc., announced on Tuesday evening that his company is prepared to open a production facility and engineering office in Lockhart.

Andersen, the Chief Executive Officer of AdviTech, is a former US Air Force pilot who got involved with the upstart company when he learned of the technology being developed to help individuals who suffer with vertigo and motion sickness. Essentially, AdviTech has developed specialized eyeglasses which regulate sensory input and allow sufferers to overcome a variety of human balance issues.

“Motion sickness is about a conflict between the inner ear and the eyes,” he said. “There are many that won”t fly or go on a cruise because of the fear of motion sickness.”

AdviTech”s technology serves to solve that problem, along with addressing concerns for military and space flight. Spatial disorientation, Andersen said, was largely responsible for the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr., and his wife. Had the technology been available to help alleviate the problem, there is a chance the accident would not have happened.

With business offices in San Antonio, AdviTech is at a crucial point in their growth and development, Andersen said. Now that their technology is proven effective and patented, Andersen said the company is researching a wealth of application, including military, medical and recreational uses. When word-of-mouth about the technology grows, he said, they expect a need for mass production of the eyewear.

Under the agreement with the City of Lockhart and the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation, the city will build a facility in the Lockhart Industrial Park, which will then be leased to AdviTech. The cost of the construction, according to Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin, will likely near the $600,000 mark.

However, AdviTech will contribute another $500,000 or more to outfit the interior of the building with the furnishings and fixtures needed for their facility.

The lease on the property is expected to repay the costs for construction. In return, AdviTech will create at least 30 local jobs – although initial estimates suggest they may create as many as 70.

If the company does not create the jobs as promised, they will face sanctions under the lease agreement. A copy of that lease agreement was not presented during the council meeting, so the nature and extent of those sanctions was not available at press time.

In other business, the council considered changes to the city”s current ordinances regarding the removal of graffiti from private property.

Currently, the city does not have the authority to charge private property owners for the removal of graffiti from private property visible from public right-of-ways. The changes will allow city crews or contractors to remove the graffiti, and later send a bill to the property owner for the removal.

District Four Councilmember Richard Banks suggested that the penalties for “taggers” are not harsh enough, and instead of filing charges in municipal court, the Lockhart Police Department should forward the cases to the Caldwell County District Attorney”s office for prosecution in the County Court at Law as Class B Misdemeanors.

District Three Councilmember Lew White suggested the city invest in surveillance equipment such as hunting cameras to catch the perpetrators in the act to make prosecution easier.

In brief news:
The council voted to reappoint Worlanda Neal to the Civil Service Commission.
They forgave municipal liens against two pieces of property to ease a “trade” with Habitat for Humanity, which will eventually allow the organization to build homes for low-income families.

They discussed accepting a Request for Qualifications from Schneider Engineering, of Boerne, to act as an electrical engineer on an as-needed basis to assist the city in certain aspects of upgrade and maintenance to the city”s electrical infrastructure.

City Manager Vance Rodgers gave an update on the city”s work with the Texas Department of Transportation to address drainage issues on many of the city”s main thoroughfares, including Highway 142 and FM 20 East and West.

The Lockhart City Council routinely meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Glosserman Conference Room of Lockhart City Hall. The meetings begin at 7:30 p.m., with a work session beginning at 6:30 p.m. prior to the meetings. All city council meetings and worksessions are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.

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