Innovative Package Includes Loan/Grant Plus Tax Abatement
Center, Texas — The Center Economic Development Corporation recently closed on an incentive agreement with Yoakum-based Sustainable Soil Solutions, LLC, which plans to produce an organic fertilizer product.
“We are delighted that Sustainable Soil chose Center over other communities and plans to re-use an existing facility,” said Center Mayor David Chadwick. Sustainable Soil recently purchased the former Bruce’s Hardwood Flooring plant in Center, which closed in 2009. Following a successful rezoning effort, Sustainable Soil bought the 38 acre facility from a group of local investors.
“We ultimately chose Center over another city because of the existing building and proximity to our primary feedstock,” explained Dennis Kaspar, President of Sustainable Soil. “Also the City and Economic Development were very welcoming to us and our product.” Sustainable Soil agreed to invest $5 million in facility improvements and equipment and create 22 local jobs.
The Economic Development Corporation paid for an economic analysis by ImpactData Source that showed a $400,000 impact over 10 years. “We used this information to create an innovative assistance package where everybody got what they needed to make this a successful partnership,” Jim Gibson, Center Economic Development Coordinator, reported. “The EDC agreed to a 10 year $200,000 loan/grant combination package where Sustainable Soil will repay the EDC $100,000 over the first five years where all interest is forgiven if job creation and capital investment is proven. If job targets continue to be met over the second five year period, then all principal and interest is forgiven.” Sustainable Soil also agreed to place a 22,000 square foot ancillary building as collateral.
The Center EDC also facilitated a property tax abatement agreement between the City of Center (7 years) and Shelby County (3 years).
“This kind of agreement and effort is an example of how we try to do economic development in Center,” said John Snider, Center Economic Development Board President. “We are very thankful that Sustainable Soil approached us and that we were able to work out an arrangement for everyone’s benefit.”
Sustainable Soil Solutions uses locally produced poultry by product in a thermal reaction to create organic fertilizer.