ODC approves $1 million grant to Standard Sales
Nov 09, 2012 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Odessa Development Corp. approved Thursday to fund a $1 million grant to distribution company Standard Sales.
The distribution of the grant money is contingent upon Standard Sales creating 91 jobs for the annual payroll of $5.1 million.
One-fifth of the $1 million will be paid to Standard Sales after each year of full employment and compliance with the economic development agreement.
The money would aid in the expansion of Standard Sales' Odessa branch. Standard Sales distributes beer and other products of Anheuser-Busch in nine cities across Texas, Mississippi and Colorado.
Currently, Standard Sales' Odessa branch operates at 301 S. Lark Ave.
During the ODC meeting, City Attorney Joel Roberts said the company was initially interested in buying land in the Grow Odessa, formerly Odessa Industrial Development Corp., Business Park, but is now considering other locations.
Standard Sales must purchase land within Odessa city limits, Roberts said.
The company is considering on expanding to a site that will include an approximately 12,500 square foot office space, an approximately 125,000 square foot refrigerated storage space and 10,000 square foot to 15,000 square foot non-refrigerated space that would be built prior to the date of full employment.
The total cost of the project would be $15.5 million, of which ODC is only funding $1 million.
"This is a diversified business outside of oil and gas," said David Boutin, a member of the ODC's compliance committee.
Though all five ODC members were present to discuss the item during an executive session, ODC President Charles Carlson and board member Frank Deaderick both exited the meeting during public discussion.
Carlson and Deaderick removed themselves from the voting process due to their current and former connections with Standard Sales.
Deaderick was a former president for Standard Sales and Carlson's company -- Johnson, Miller and Co. -- are certified public accountants, or CPAs, for Standard Sales.
"(They) felt in compulsion to (remove themselves) so there is no question in the vote," said ODC Vice President Richard "Buzz" Browning, who took over chair for the meeting.
Browning later abstained from the voting process, because he is chairman for SouthWest Bank, which also works with Standard Sales.
The remaining eligible members, Kris Crow and Jim Breaux, unanimously approved the agreement.
City Attorney Larry Long said the vote was legitimate, because only three members need to be present for a quorum.
Prior to the Standard Sales discussion, all ODC members voted to approve the sale of land in the Grow Odessa Business Park to the West Texas Food Bank in the sum of $113,265.
The resolution was approved with a revision to subordinate the food bank's interest to the lender of the facility.
The revision stipulates that the WTFB would have to sell back the land to the ODC if the land was not used for a food bank, Browning said.
The WTFB is intending on building a larger food bank at the site, which would cost possibly around $5 million to $6 million.
In other business, the board approved a resolution for a new policy for compliance review of economic development agreements.
Companies would have to show proof of compliance with job, payroll and investment requirements.
Status reports are required to include wage and salary information and the company's IRS 941 return.
Contact Lyxan Toledanes on twitter @OAcitylife, on Facebook at OA Lyxan Toledanes, or call 432-333-7786.
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