Cost of city's second business park rises $500,000

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 31, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 31, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.

Lone Tree Business Park No. 2 will cost Victoria nearly half a million more than the city expected when the plans started last year.

The seven-person city council is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve an additional $478,100 from the half-cent sales tax, which brings the park's cost to $1.6 million.

Although no definite businesses are lined up to move in, Victoria Economic Development Corp. President Dale Fowler said he is "anticipating a few smaller-type manufacturing companies" that would support Caterpillar Inc.

Fowler said the city initially approved $1.25 million in October 2012.

Since then, the bids for the work came back higher than expected.

"That's indicative of prices going up, since the estimates were done a year ago," Fowler said.

Councilman Emett Alvarez said he is surprised that the price increased so much.

The sales tax dollars can be used to fix major thoroughfares and business-related infrastructure, and Alvarez said this is a good investment.

"This is all in an effort to maintain an attractive industrial park to bring more industry and jobs to Victoria," Alvarez said. "It's improving a site that we can use to market Victoria."

He said the city needs these types of incentive packages to entice industry and manufacturing to the community.

The funds will pay for water and sewer lines, storm sewers and a paved street on the business park across Lone Tree Road from Caterpillar Inc.

Councilman Paul Polasek said not only is the first estimate dated, but the plan also added concrete lining to ditches to reduce maintenance and mowing.

The vote Tuesday ratifies the sales tax development board's efforts.

Public Works Director Lynn Short said the plan makes room for 10 industrial sites that can be altered as needed.

"Depending on what moves in there, it's very flexible in the number of lots that we would have," Short said. "The thinking was that maybe some suppliers that manufacture parts for Caterpillar might move in there require smaller land areas than a large industry like Caterpillar did."

He expects the project to be complete by 2014.

The original Lone Tree Business Park is 320 acres. This second park will be about 90 acres. Victoria College received 16 acres in Business Park II for its emerging technology center, Fowler said.

Fowler said the economic development corporation is actively marketing the second business park with a focus on potential suppliers to Caterpillar.

The goal is to bring in "companies that would add new investment and job opportunities to the community," he said.

Councilman David Hagan said he hopes the investment "will pay back dividends to the community," like the original business park.

He said the second business park is a good incentive to facilitate businesses locating in Victoria.

"I think there will be a return on the investment," he said.



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