Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Company's plan proves decision was wise
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 23, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 22, 2013 at 11:23 p.m.
Business in Victoria is on a roll. Between Eagle Ford Shale traffic, Caterpillar, a growing retail segment and support from the area's higher education facilities, our economic future is looking bright.
Businesses are still moving in, including a new Wal-Mart coming to the south side of town. We were excited when we heard another business will soon join Victoria's industrial circle by moving into the Lone Tree Business Park II. Ken Garner Manufacturing Inc., a parts supplier company for Caterpillar, is expected to open a 16-acre location at the business park on Wayne Watkins Drive. The Victoria City Council has already given unanimous approval in previous action for the site to be designated as a reinvestment zone but needs a final vote to make it official. Then, the city will look into offering a tax abatement for the company.
This development is encouraging and gratifying to see. For years, the Lone Tree Business Park has sat empty, waiting for the right economic climate and opportunity to bring big business to our community. Previous City Councils faced criticism and derision for their decision to set this land aside for future development even though there were no immediate offers. Now, that foresight and willingness to invest is paying off. First, Caterpillar chose Victoria as the location for its new excavator plant in 2010. Today, the plant is up and running, which has begun to draw other interested companies to our area.
Ken Garner is the first Caterpillar supplier to begin the process of opening a Victoria location, and we hope it will be the first of many more interested parties. As part of the effort to attract businesses, the City Council is looking into offering tax abatements to these potential employers, and we encourage the council members to take the proper steps to offer these incentives to Ken Garner and other prospective employers. These incentives will give companies a break on their taxes while still bringing revenue to the city through property taxes paid by the company as well as sales and property taxes paid by employees shopping and buying homes in our community.
We are grateful to the previous and current leaders of Victoria for their willingness to invest in future success by creating the Lone Tree Business Park areas. Their decision paved the way for the current prosperity Victoria is enjoying and has set an important example for us to follow. We encourage our current leaders to continue this tradition of looking ahead and investing in Victoria's future success. By setting our expectations toward success, we can take action and build a better future for us and our children.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.