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City approves sales contract
with S5! Manufacturing

by Dolores Hamilton
The sales contract with S-5! Manufacturing for the city-owned building at 500 W. Highway was approved by the city council Monday night after meeting in closed session for an hour and a half.

The council had approved the sale in January, but due to technicalities and paperwork involving incentives, the sale was put on hold until action was taken by the Iowa Park Economic Development Corporation (4A board) Monday night.

The EDC directors met in closed session for an hour and 45 minutes prior to the council meeting. When they reconvened in open session, they voted to approve the incentives for S-5! depending on approval of rezoning or variance of the property at 500 W. Highway.

EDC incentives include $200,000 in cash to purchase a piece of equipment and make building/structure improvements, with the stipulation that S-5! create and maintain not less than 10 full-time jobs over a 5-year period.

The former Wal-Mart building, purchased by the city in 2009 for $200,000, was sold to S-5! for $575,000. In the agreement the city will give S-5! a $125,000 incentive to add and retain five jobs to the 10 the company already agreed to, leaving a cash sale of $450,000.

In other business, the council authorized the police department to submit a 2013 Texas Criminal Justice Division grant application for funds for the department's "Electronic Evidence Capture and Surveillance" project.
Police Chief Robert Johnson credited librarian Amie Schultz with putting the grant together, before explaining it to the council members.

He said the police department had no surveillance camera system for the building. The proposed system would allow areas of the department to be monitored at all times and allow for recording of interviews to be used as evidence in court proceedings. Currently the police department has only body microphones for officers on duty, so if they are out on a traffic stop or a call for service, anything that takes place out of the range of the in-car camera is not captured on video. The purchase of body cameras would allow for everything within range of the in-car camera and everything in front of the officer to be recorded both in audio and video. This would allow for improved recorded evidence and the project would allow for the police department to supply better evidence in cases for court proceedings.