By CHRIS AGEE
Continuing expansion projects at two local companies are progressing after Mineral Wells City Council voted last week to approve necessary replats of associated property.
City Manager Lance Howerton explained both Tru-Test and Watkins Metal Fabrication were initially brought to this area through a Texas Capital Fund grant, noting both businesses now seek to expand their respective operations through similar funding.
Both projects were recently tentatively approved to receive the capital, though one stipulation is that the location of the new facility must be separated from the property funded through the initial TCF grant.
Howerton said the process is rather convoluted, though it is essential to receiving the funding and has been implemented previously. Steve Butcher of the Area Growth Council explained the necessity of such provisions, explaining the two lots on which the expansion is planned will be sold to the Mineral Wells Industrial Foundation.
Howerton noted a city can skip the bidding process in selling property for market value for economic development purposes. He added the two identified lots have a market value of essentially zero, considering they are city-owned and the subject of TCF leases.
In addition to Tru-Test and Watkins, PECOFacet was also among local businesses seeking a TCF grant that had their applications resubmitted following a council meeting earlier this month.
According to Howerton, each company previously received council approval, though when not selected during its initial funding round, each application rolled over into another round.
The three projects were preliminarily selected for funding in recent considerations, though program changes required the applications be resubmitted.
Funding for Tru-Test and Watkins stayed the same, though PECOFacet's application was readjusted downward due to funding caps based on the number of jobs created.