By CLINT FOSTER
The City of Mineral Wells is doing its part to ensure the arrival of a new factory that will bolster the economy and create a multitude of jobs and specialized training opportunities for the community.
In a regular meeting Tuesday night, city council unanimously approved a resolution for a tax abatement agreement in an attempt to help woo Texas Ultra Precision Ammunition to build its new manufacturing facility in Fort Wolters Industrial Park in the near future.
According to Steve Butcher of the Area Growth Council, Texas Ultra Precision Ammunition LLC. is a startup company, intent primarily on manufacturing specialized bullets for military and law enforcement use.
The $50 million project includes $20 million worth of equipment and another $4 million spent on patents for specialized manufacturing processes. Butcher, who has been negotiating with the company for the past three months, told city council the presence of such a factory would have a very positive impact on Mineral Wells.
“One of the interesting things about this project is even though it’s a startup and startups we usually shy away from like crazy, because they don’t have a track record – they are looking at a marketplace that could be considered rather hot right now,” he said. “To bring a tax base in here that’s going to be in the $30-million range and to create a couple hundred pretty decent jobs, we need to throw everything we can against the wall and see what will stick.”
Butcher explained that TUPA already has the financing necessary for its project and is simply looking for a place to put down stakes. They had originally planned on building their facility in Las Vegas, but decided that they would be better suited in Texas, particularly because of the absence of unions. Now Mineral Wells and Fort Worth are two of their primary candidates with the decision to be made based on which city can assemble the best package that benefits the company.