EDC considers grant applications

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Economic Development Corporation held their monthly meeting last week to discuss and consider several business related issues.  Before moving into new business, EDC Director Kyle Reeves gave his monthly report.  Reeves told the EDC that there has been some interest in the EDC owned properties on Cherry Lane.  A meeting is set up with the potential buyer.
Reeves spoke again regarding the land next to the IHOP on Cherry Lane.  That land is an easement used by Oncor, but Reeves said Oncor remains open to the land being used to extend the IHOP parking lot.  He said the City should be issuing permits for this soon and that it should be a quick project.
Preparations for the upcoming retailer convention in Dallas are underway.  Reeves said they’ve been hard at work on the White Settlement exhibit that will be set up at the event.
“I think everybody will be very pleased with the exhibit,” Reeves said.
Mayor Ronald A. White asked if there has been any progress with the contacts the city made with potential businesses on their recent trip to the Las Vegas retailer convention.
“We’re still in contact with multiple people,” Reeves said.
He went on to say that there’s been interest from some of those contacts in moving in on Cherry Land and Clifford.
“They’re very good businesses that would be very good for the area,” Reeves said, saying talks are continuing with these potential new businesses.
Finance Director Phil Bray gave the EDC their monthly finance report.  With the fiscal year ending a few weeks ago, Bray said that the EDC came up just $40,000 short of their adjusted sales tax revenue expectations.  As has been discussed for many months now, the sales tax revenues in the city continued to fall in September.  The number came up 38% below projections, marking the seventh month in a row sales tax revenue has been below projections.
“The financials, despite the downturn in sales tax revenue, look encouraging,” Bray told the EDC.
Mayor White spoke about the financial trends the City has been facing.
“We just have to make sure we stay frugal,” Mayor White said.
BUSINESS INCENCTIVE GRANTS
Two companies applied for BIG grants from the EDC.  First up was Dielectric Testing/Ultimate Tool and Safety.  As the EDC looked through their application, Mayor White stated that their application was missing some information.  The company didn’t indicate how much sales tax revenue they would produce, and he also questioned why they had indicated they wouldn’t be using White Settlement vendors.  Reeves said he knew they’d used contractors from White Settlement in some of the work they are doing.
As discussions about this issue continued, a motion was made to postpone a decision on this application.  Reeves was asked to use this postponement as time to go back to Dielectric Testing and get some clarifications on their paperwork.  That motion passed.
The second company applying for a BIG grant was Accent Appliance.  The company recently opened up on White Settlement road and was seeking a maximum amount of $35,000 for the interior and exterior upgrades they made to the property.  Reeves listed some of the many upgrades that were done such as a new air conditioning system, a new fence, exterior upgrades and new signage.  He said that Accent Appliance has spent in the neighborhood of $172,000 on all the upgrades.
A motion was made to accept the application for the BIG grant and approve the amount of $35,000.  That motion passed unanimously.

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