The only concern brought up in the City Council meeting was from Ward 2 council member Tammy Underwood, who wanted to assuage worries about the safety of the plant, saying she did not want anything like the tragedy in West to happen in Mineral Wells.
But City Manager Lance Howerton said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a strict set of regulations for such facilities to be built. He added that the company would be required to submit their construction plans to the city for approval, at which point city officials could provide input on the process.
After examining the fire code, Howerton also said that the facility would not require any increase in emergency personnel. Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan added there would also be no need for additional training of emergency personnel and they already have contingency plans for such a disaster.
Butcher quelled many council members worries by stating that TUPA’s original plan was to build their factory in the middle of Las Vegas. The only potentially dangerous aspect of the factory would be the bunker in which they would store their gunpowder. However, the ATF requires a 300-foot buffer on all sides of such materials, which should be feasible on a 100-acre property.
Before the council unanimously voted in favor of doing whatever possible to bring the factory to Mineral Wells, Mayor Mike Allen expressed his belief in the importance of the project.
“This has the potential of replacing two-thirds of the jobs lost from CCA,” he said. “We’ve got to try.”
Assuming TUPA does choose Mineral Wells as its future home, Howerton said construction of the new facility could begin in as few as six months. If that is the case, it would mean a positive boon for the local community and represent the latest in a line of developments that are nothing but good news for the city.