Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

February 12, 2013

Community nearly loses research & development center


Mineral Wells Index

— By CHRIS AGEE



A groundbreaking ceremony last October marked the beginning of PECOFacet’s $8 million Dunman Perry Research Center. Along with a 50,000 square-foot facility, the company estimates the project will create an additional 35 jobs in the communtiy.

According to local leaders and PECOFacet officials, Mineral Wells was very close to losing the economic benefits associated with the center.

Industrial Foundation recruiter Steve Butcher told the Index the expansion was nearly built on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma – a site currently occupied by PECO’s sister company, Facet International.

The company offered PECO favorable terms to relocate both media manufacturing and the research-and-development center, Butcher said.

Had that happened, he noted 70 existing jobs plus the 35 anticipated positions would have disappeared locally.

After working with PECOFacet for more than three years, Butcher explained the Industrial Foundation ultimately proposed a package accepted by all parties involved.

Since the company was seeking a consolodation into one center, Butcher said the Industrial Foundation agreed to “buy the two [local] facilities they were moving out of and give them market price so they don’t have to be in the real estate business.”

Additionally, he said, the city committed to applying for a Texas Capital Fund loan and an enterprise project designation for the new research and development center.

According to City Manager Lance Howerton, that designation has been received and Butcher noted the city has never been refused when applying for a TCF loan.

PECOFacet President Scott Thompson said the decision was difficult from a business standpoint, noting he had to make sure any final decision benefitted both the company’s bottom line and its employees.

He credited the Industrial Foundation and the City of Mineral Wells for their willingness to “stretch to the limits” in order to make the project feasible.