Council members approved the purchase of a new Gradall brand landscaping machine, similar to a backhoe during their mid-June meeting last Thursday. They also approved two tax abatement agreements …
Council members approved the purchase of a new Gradall brand landscaping machine, similar to a backhoe during their mid-June meeting last Thursday. They also approved two tax abatement agreements with Warefor Solutions, LLC. and Duro Hilex Poly, LLC in separate resolutions.
“These are tax abatement agreements that we’ve been working on for several months, if not close to a year,” said City Attorney Justin Pruitt.
The Warefor Solutions agreement will provide a tax abatement for the company to move into the Stream Realty development, Brookshire Economic Development Corporation representative Mike Barnes. The company, which is based out of Dallas, intends to bring in a roughly 161,000 square foot warehouse facility to the city near the Empire West development which is expected to provide jobs and tax revenue, Barnes said.
The Duro Hilex Poly agreement will allow the company to establish a facility near the Grundfos operation located at 902 Koomey Road, Brookshire. While the agreement was proposed with a clawback agreement allowing the city to recover the tax abatement if the company wasn’t able to meet all of its commitments under the plan which included facility improvements and job production requirements; Steve Robinson, an attorney and partner at the Allen Boone Humphries Robinson law firm based in Houston, said his client had some concessions in the clawback clause that it would like implemented.
The concessions would have incorporated a prorated clawback rather than a 100% clawback allowed under state law. Robinson and Barnes, who also worked on the agreement, said the request was being made due to the uncertain state of the economy given the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty.
Both measures were unanimously approved as initially presented, though an amendment to the Duro Hilex Poly agreement may be developed and brought before council at a later date.
The purchase of the new Gradall machine – as recommended by Public Works Director Earnest Kelley – was also approved unanimously. Skipper Robinson, a sales representative with ASCO Equipment, said his company had reviewed the city’s needs with Kelley and had suggested that the excavator be purchased with the bucket attachment and three others which would help the city keep ditches maintained and debris free. While the cost for the additional attachments increased the overall price, he said, it would save the city more than $100,000 in the long run in comparison with buying additional machines that would serve the same functions as the added attachments. The overall cost of the Gradall was about $457,000 with all of the attachments, Robinson said.
Three purchasing will be financed via a loan that will be paid off in annual payments over a three-year term.
Council also requested that Pruitt and city staff prepare and distribute a requisition for mowing services for the city to help Public Works keep up with mowing needs during the summer. The idea said Alderwoman Kim Branch, who proposed the idea, would be for the temporary contract which would be expected to run July through October to allow Public Works to focus on street repairs which are needed throughout the city.
The end of the meeting became slightly heated as Branch, who is married to Mayor Darrell Branch, accused fellow council member Lee Nelson Jones of defaming her on social media – a violation of the code of conduct approved by council some time ago. The complaint alleges that Nelson made false remarks on social media related to a May 2020 incident in which Jones has accused the alderwoman of swearing at a Brookshire PD officer during an incident. The Katy Times has reached out to the city for records related to the incident and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
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