Economic Development Took Center Stage at November City Council Meeting

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Tax abatement took center stage at the Sulphur Springs City Council meeting Tuesday night. A resolution approving tax abatement for Back Story Brewery, Saputo, and an economic development agreement providing incentives to develop 216 Main Street received approval.

Saputo will be expanding in a $44-million, 10-year tax abatement. The expansion will add infrastructure to the current facility and serve to remodel the building for greater efficiency. Two new production lines will be added as will a 60,000 square foot addition. Improvements to the facilities wastewater treatment will also be included in the expansion. According to Saputo officials approximately 440 employees will work at the plant following the expansion.

216 Main Street will receive $35,000 in economic incentives for development. In a 380 agreement, Billie Ruth Standbridge plans a $4.8-million investment that will include a two story building with commercial and residential space and an open space that will allow a plaza connecting Main Street with Tomlinson Street.

In other Economic Development action, the council approved a one year extension to the terms of office for EDC board members. The one year extension will provide a better planning platform for the agency according to Roger Feagley, EDC Director.

The council also approved a memorandum of understanding with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances that names the local hospital as an indigent care provider and validates the tax-exempt status of the hospital. This will allow the hospital to receive reduced rates for drugs and medication.

Kansas City Southern Railroad will build and maintain a pedestrian walkway where Crosstown Trail will cross the railroad track and they will receive the property along the rail line that was once Gladys Alexander Drive. That segment of Gladys Alexander will be abandoned by the city. The $49,000-plus cost of the crosswalk will be funded by a grant received by the city.

Back Story Brewery will be allowed a 5 year tax abatement.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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