Lesa Smith was named city finance director during Tuesday night’s Sulphur Springs City Council meeting. The council also approved two industrial/manufacturing items, set the city council election, approved the concession stand contract for local parks, and other times.
Ms. Smith began working for the city when she was 16-years old and has remained in city employ while attaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. According to City Manager Marc Maxwell, she has been training for the city finance position for the past five years working closely with former City Finance Director Peter Karsten, who recently retired. She was presented as director to her staff Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Her employment as Finance Director was a unanimous decision by the council.
Another unanimous decision by the council was the approval of a new Economic Development Corporation project that will result in a 150,000 square feet building at Heritage Business Park. Three local banks, Alliance, City National, and Guaranty Bank and Trust will provide a loan for $7.8-million for the building. The city will not be responsible for the debt which will be paid from the lease of the facility to Load Trail, a builder of dump trucks. New jobs at the facility will total 150. Council members John Sellers and Emily Glass recused themselves during the discussion and vote due to their employment at local banks. However, council member Dan Froneberger asked EDC Executive Roger Feagley a number of questions regarding the agreement. Froneberger also included a Guaranty Bank and Trust loan officer in attendance in the questioning. The loan officer gave hearty approval to the integrity of Load Trail and the loan.
Froneberger also questioned a 380-agreement with Backstory Beverages Company, LLC. The company is taking a property valued between $48,000 and $50,000 and investing $950,000 in improvements. Backstory plans to hire 8-10 employees. Froneberger voted no but the remainder of the council approved the new manufacturing facility.
Council approved Whitaker Homes for construction of homes based on a Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs HOME Program. Two homes are currently approved and one is waiting funding. Income and conditions of the home must meet specific criteria set forth in the program and ownership of the home is granted when the resident has lived in the home five years.
The municipal airport will install a next generation traffic control system and the transfer of two lease agreements at the airport was approved.
Council approved a state reimbursement and expenditures for the moving of a sewer lift station and sewer lines along State Highway 11 near Stone Brier. The move is necessitated by changes to the roadway by TxDOT.
All other items on the agenda were approved including a Homeland Security grant for the Police Department.
In public form, a local resident requested attention be given to the Senior Citizens Center.