A Chapter 381 Economic Development Program agreement for JBW Holdings LLC, repositioning of a culvert, DMV optional fees, and routine grant documents were among the items Hopkins County Commissioners Court approved during the regular court session this week.
JB Weld Agreement
After a lengthy negotiation process, Hopkins County Commissioners Court Monday unanimously approved a 381 Economic Development Program Agreement with JB Weld LLC.
“This has actually been ongoing for a long time, over a year, where we’ve been working on this. JB Weld is expanding and that’s a really, really good thing for our community,” Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said of the business, located at 400 CMH Road, just off Interstate 30 in the Pioneer Business Park. “They are expanding their building and adding employees. We’ve negotiated this for a long time actually, for more than a year.”
The business, which had a 2020 ad valorem taxable value of just over $4.7 million, has committed to investing $4 million to expand its epoxy glue manufacturing business with construction of a 40,000 square-foot facility on the 12.24-acre tract of land, with the project to be completed by June 30, 2022, according to the ED Program agreement. This will allow JB Weld to add 20 new fulltime positions, giving the business a total of 102 fulltime employees, which the company agreed to maintain the duration of the Chapter 381 agreement.
“They are currently under construction so you can see where they are working at,” Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Roger Feagley noted. “This is a 5-year program, rather than the typical 10 years. It’s 100 percent for 5 years.”
In other words, county has agreed to reimburse 100 percent of the county ad valorem taxes paid by JB Weld on the new addition for tax years 2021-2025, provided. In exchange, JB Weld has agreed to maintain its current workforce of at least 82 fulltime employees during construction, then 102 after the new addition is complete and 20 new employees are added.
Starting Dec. 31, 2021, and each year for the 5 years of the agreement, a compliance verification report must be submitted to the county verifying the full-time employment requirement has been created and maintained, as well as the taxable appraised value of the property. The county then will reimburse 100 percent of the county ad valorem taxes paid for the new addition for that tax year, according to the agreement approved by the Commissioners Court.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin explained that a house was built on a lot located at 69 Wylie Drive, a Sulphur Springs address, located right in front of a drainage culvert. So now, the water is flowing right at the residents’ front door.
“They’ve asked for that culvert to be relocated, which it can’t be relocated. It’s in there at a diagonal is what’s making it go right at their door,” Anglin explained.
Talking with the residents as well as their neighbors, an agreement which both have signed has been reached to change the diagonal of the culvert. Although that will send some water onto another property, both parties have agreed to it and agreed the county will not be liable for changing the waterflow. The residents agreed to buy the culvert which county employees will put under the road to channel drainage.
Anglin then made the motion to approve the request which will change the direction of the culvert. Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval of the court.
Annual Fees, Contract Renewals, Agreements
Hopkins County Tax Assessor/Collector Debbie Mitchell presented a request to approve two additional fees added to the motor vehicle registration fees.
“Texas Department of Motor Vehicles each year asks us to sign off on our additional fees on our car registrations. Hopkins County has the $10 road and bridge fee on each vehicle and we have also done the dollar for the Child Safety Program. We just need to redo, for another year, our fees,” Mitchell told the Commissioners Court during the elected officials’ regular Sept. 13 court session.
A motion was made by Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley, then seconded by Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price, to approve the additional DMV fees as recommended for the 2022 calendar year. The court voted unanimously approving the optional fees collected to go toward road and bridge work and to the Child Safety program, as recommended by the Mitchell.
The Commissioners Court also unanimously approved a second contract renewal to participate in entity services agreement with the Statewide Automated Victim Notification Service.
County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook reported that SAVNS is a grant program. In order to proceed and receive fund each year, the county is required to accept the agreement annually.
Also approved was a contract by and between the county and ArkTex Council of Governments for the purchase of juvenile services.
“This is something we do every year. It allows us to continue to take care off our juvenile situations here in Hopkins County, including Juvenile Probation Office,” Newsom noted.