By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
Needed economic growth and new jobs are headed to Gainesville as a California based truck manufacturing company, Valew, is expanding in to the north Texas area as detailed during a special Friday meeting of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation (GEDC).
During the meeting, the GEDC approved making the Valew expansion an economic development project for the city with an incentive package offered to the expanding corporation.
As a GEDC project, Valew will receive a $350,000 packet of incentives offered to the company which includes the transfer of 15 acres (valued at $150,000) at the new industrial park north of town at no cost to Valew. Also the packet will provide an additional incentive of $5,000 per eligible employee up to 40 employees not to exceed $200,000 for employee cash incentives. A tax rebate of one half of the GEDC one quarter of one percent of local sales tax generated by Valew and paid to the GEDC will be awarded back to Valew for a ten years period.
The transfer of title of the 15 acres will be made after the first of three 20,000 square foot buildings is constructed and a certificate of occupancy is received. The second and third building will be built during phase two and phase three of the planned expansion over the next three years. As each phase is completed, the number of employees needed will increase with initial hiring in phase one of approximately 35 workers. Upon completion of all three phases, the company projects 250 jobs will be available.
Rounding out the $350,000 incentive packet that includes the $150,00 land transfer will be the mentioned $200,000 in cash incentives based upon the hiring of up to 40 employees with a minimum wage of at least $16.50 per hour on a full time basis. On an annual basis this computes to $35,000 yearly salary as determined by the quarterly report to be filed by Valew with the Texas Workforce commission with a copy of the completed report given to the GEDC.
The Valew home page states that they are a quality truck manufacturer and outfitter using the age-old concept of assembly lines as well as technological advances to produce high quality products at competitive prices.
Brett Manahl of Valew will be plant manager for the new Gainesville location and is excited about being a part of the Gainesville community.
Manahl said, “I am very grateful to how proactive Kent Sharp and the city of Gainesville have been in making this a reality. We are appreciative of the close-knit community of Gainesville and look forward to being a part of it.”
Continuing he said, “Valew has been a national distributor of products for many years and we anticipate this new centrally located expansion to our company will be a great benefit in serving our customers.”
Currently in the designing stage, Manahl indicated that by spring 2014, the company should be ready to begin the hiring process.
GEDC executive director Kent Sharp said, “This is a busy time for us and Valew will be a great boost to Gainesville and our economy. We have been working hard to bring new jobs to our citizens and we are happy to welcome Valew to our neighborhood.”
As mandated by state law, introduction and approval of the packet by the city council over a two meeting time frame will formally set the project in motion. Council meeting dates are Aug. 6 and Aug. 20. Valew has accepted the packet pending approval by the Gainesville City Council.
GEDC member and Gainesville mayor Jim Goldsworthy said, “This is a big deal for our community. We are very excited.”