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City agrees to lease large portion of
old Wal-Mart building to new business

by Dolores Hamilton
In a move that should provide a major boost for the economy of Iowa Park, the Iowa Park City Council, at its regular meeting Monday night, approved leasing a large portion of the city-owned building at 500 W. Highway to S-5! Manufacturing L.L.C.

S-5!, an aluminum extrusion company, will move into the building in November. They have agreed to lease the facility for $4,000 per month for up to one year.

In the mean time they will be constructing a 23,000 square foot building on a 7.382-acre tract of land in the city’s Industrial Park. The company will start out with 17 employees and expect to increase to around 25.

Iowa Park’s 4-A Economic Development Corporation has agreed to pay for a few modifications to the building on West Highway that include a roll-up door on the west end and the removal of asbestos flooring tiles.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the 4-A Corporation and David Owen,” said City Manager Mike Price. Owen is Iowa Park’s Director of Economic Development.

Additional information about S-5! Manufacturing can be found in another story on page 1 of this issue.

Price said that the company is going to be requesting tax abatements. “To give tax abatement to S-5!, we’re going to have to establish two reinvestment zones,” Price said. “One is for the area of the building on West Highway, and the other is for the land in the Industrial Park.

“The land they are building on is outside the city limits right now, so the city is not getting any tax dollars on that land,” Price said. “For us to give a tax abatement the building has to be inside the city limits, and we’re going to annex that property and then the property will be taxed,” he added.

There will be a special called meeting on Nov. 7 to hold a public hearing for the reinvestment zone. At the regular council meeting on Nov. 14, the council will be able to consider the tax abatement, adopt an ordinance that establishes a reinvestment zone, and approve a tax abatement agreement.

In other action, the council voted to rescind the temporary fire ban that was enacted on Feb. 28.

Before the vote, the council asked the opinion of Fire Chief Randy Fulbright on lifting the ban. Fulbright said he understood that people had put off projects such as building privacy fences and carports because of the ban. He said he would be okay with it if he was given the option of coming back, if needed, and asking the council to reinstate the burn ban. He said if the rain that is predicted comes in, we will be in good shape.