|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Business park building nears completion
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Five new companies will soon be operating in the first of eight industrial buildings planned for the new Trinity Business Park. Gustavo Lleras, chief executive officer for XG Ventures, told the Trinity City Council last week the 35,000-square-foot building was about 98 percent complete and would be ready to occupy as soon as water, sewer, electrical and telephone services are installed. Lleras appeared before the council to update them on the progress at the park, which is being developed by XG Ventures in cooperation with the city. The city, through its Trinity Economic and Industrial Development Corporation (TEIDC), sold the land to XG Ventures last year and obtained a $750,000 industrial development grant to pay for utility installation and road construction on the site. The new business park is located immediately south of the Alco Shopping Center between Highway 19 South and FM 1617. The road being built to serve the site connects the two state highways. City Manager Buddy Drake noted that road and utility line construction was underway but was being delayed by recent heavy rainfall. “They’ve been trying to get as much done as they can as fast as they can but they’re fighting the mud,” Drake said Lleras told the council five companies, each eventually employing at least 10 workers, would share the initial building. He also reported two other firms – a pressure washing company and a company that overlays metal on metal – are currently negotiating for use of other buildings to be constructed on the site. In his report to the council, Lleras said only four of the first five companies have been signed aboard while the fifth firm – a sign company – was still being finalized. Among the first industrial firms that will be located at the business park will be XG Ventures itself, which Lleras said would be opening a metal fabrication company. Other firms that have committed to the site are FCC Industries, a powder coating company; E-DEK Industries, a sandblasting and refinishing firm; and Becmar Technologies, a high pressure water jet company. “All of these companies will be customers for each other,” Lleras said, adding they each also would be accepting work from outside companies and individuals. He noted when Becmar gets up an running, they will offer demonstrations on their water jet cutting equipment, which Lleras said was capable of slicing through eight-inches of steel. Among the items that XG Ventures will be making are trash dumpsters, which prompted Drake to joke that the city would be willing to accept any and all donations of that product. The reason for the city’s involvement in the project is to attract new jobs to the area and Lleras assured the council his company is focused on that issue. “We will be casting a wide net in search of people,” he said, adding that XG Ventures alone would be in need of qualified welders. He told the council the company would like to work with the Trinity School System to help train local students in the skills that will be needed by the new companies. Drake also said should any of the companies implement their own training program for workers, grant money is available to help pay the employees’ salaries while they are being taught new skills. Lleras noted construction work would soon be shifting from the 35,000-square-foot building to the smaller office building located nearby. The foundation and metal frame for that structure had been completed prior to last week’s council meeting and Lleras said work on the building’s roof and skin was about to get underway. That building will house XG Venture’s main administrative office for the business park. When questioned by the council, Lleras said the company still plans to build a retail shopping center across the Highway 19 frontage but that work has been put on the back burner for the time being. “Right now we want to keep our focus on the industrial buildings and we hope to start work on two more soon. The shopping center will be in the second phase of development,” he said. The additional seven industrial buildings planned for the business park will be less than half the size of the one now being completed. Plans call for them to each contain 14,000-square-feet of workspace. Westwood trash eyed In other business during last week’s meeting, the council agreed to meet with officials from Westwood Shores to renegotiate the trash collection contract signed with the city last year. In response to a request from Councilman Neal Smith, Drake and Councilman Clegg DeWalt conducted a cost analysis study that indicated the city is losing about $349 per month in providing the service to the subdivision. Westwood Shores currently pays the city $1,600 a month to pick up its trash from five eight-cubic-yard dumpsters and haul it to a garbage landfill located in Polk County. Smith noted that while he was initially against providing the trash service outside the city, if they were going to do the work they should be making at least a small profit. “I’m certainly not going to take taxpayers’ money and use it for the country club set,” Smith said. It was noted that when the contract was first negotiated, the city and Westwood Shores agreed that if the $1,600 per month fee was not enough, the amount could be adjusted. The contract also allows either party to terminate the agreement with a 30-day notice. Other business During the meeting, the council also: • Tabled a request from East Texas Medical Center’s ambulance service to adopt a city ordinance prohibiting other ambulance companies from operating within the Trinity city limits without permission from ETMC-EMS. The ETMC-EMS representative noted that their contract with the city currently gives the company the exclusive right to serve the city and the ordinance would provide the authority to penalize ambulance services that violate the rule. The council tabled action to give them time to study their contract with ETMC-EMS and indicated they would revisit the request at their next meeting. • Voted to reject a request from Centerpoint Energy for a rate increase. Drake noted it is standard practice for the city to reject the request, which automatically goes to the Texas Railroad Commission for final approval. • Received an update from Kenneth Newton on the clean-up effort underway in the city. Newton noted that the city is currently demolishing old, dilapidated structures at a rate of 10 per year and currently has a waiting list to take down 20 buildings.