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Council approves incentives for foundry

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

The Lockhart Industrial Park is still growing, with the Lockhart City Council making a decision on Tuesday night that will bring at least 75 jobs to the community, along with increasing the tax rolls by $5.5 million.

By virtue of a resolution passed during the brief meeting, the Council welcomed P

ure Castings Company, an Austin-based custom foundry, to the community as a “Section 4B Project” under the Economic Development Corporation Act of 1979. The Act, which is designed to help smaller communities attract businesses, allows the City, under the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), to provide incentives to certain companies to attract their business.

In this case, the council unanimously approved offering incentives for infrastructure construction, for permitting and impact fees, and will likely sell more than 9 ares in the Lockhart Industrial Park Phase II at below-market-value to ensure the Pure Castings’ relocation, according to Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin.

In addition, the City has agreed to tax rebates to Pure Castings for their first five years of operation, which will total more than $59,000 for the building, property, furnishings, fixtures and equipment. However, Mauldin stressed, because the maximum rebate, during the first year, is only 50 percent, the City will still be seeing gains in tax revenue as a result of the construction.

In return, Pure Casting has committed to creating and maintaining at least 75 jobs, at an expected pay rate of nearly $32,000 per year, for the five years of the abatement. After that time, the expectation is that the business will be grown sufficiently to maintain the jobs, as well as to maintain their business without the assistance of the tax rebates.

In other business, the Council approved a permit for the Lockhart Independent School District for the removal of a tree on the Lockhart High School Campus.

The live oak, which falls under the city’s definition of a “protected tree” is located near the current conference center in the front of the Center Street campus, but will interfere with the planned renovation of the campus, set to begin this spring.

Several other mature trees on the campus will be able to be saved, including plans for an atrium surrounding one of the mature trees behind the building.

The Council also approved the use of donated monies to allow the Lockhart Animal Shelter to offer free adoptions, rabies shots and sterilization services for animals in the shelter adopted during the month of January 2015.

The funds were donated specifically for the purpose of providing free adoptions and spay and neuter services, and it is the hope of shelter staff that the free adoption period will allow them to find homes for some of the animals who have been in the shelter for a prolonged period.

Despite the recent construction and expansion of the Lockhart Animal Shelter, the facility continues to run at or near capacity, and constantly attempts to find innovative ways to decrease their population, without having to euthanize animals.

In brief news:

The Council approved the Engagement Letter for the Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Audit with Alonzo, Bacarisse, Irvine and Palmer, P.C. The firm has performed the city’s audits for the last four years, but recently changed their policy to require the engagement letter before performing the audit.

They approved a bid award to Qro-Mex Construction of Granite Shoals, Texas, in the amount of $585,103 for water main and sewer force main work associated the Highway 183 Expansion Project. Most of the work will take place south of Blackjack Street.

The council also approved contracts for internet service and maintenance of the Lockhart Municipal Cemetery.

They entered contracts with LCRA regarding the city’s electric supply, including billing aggregation services, which allow for changes to the city’s electric rates, and inspection services and other substation maintenance services.

The Lockhart City Council routinely meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month in the Third Floor Council Chambers at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library Complex. The meetings are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Digital Cable Channel 10.


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