$800K approved for commercial buildings

Jan. 26—City leaders approved the withdrawal of more than $800,000 in sales tax funds for the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation to build two buildings.

DAEDF requested the $864,565.55 withdrawal for the two commercial lab buildings, saying the projects could bring new jobs to the city.

Interim City Manager Kenzie Wheeler said the monies will come from incentives 7-11, with $138,286.76 from incentive 7; $60,768.40 from incentive 8; $417,346.74 from incentive 9; $217,504.40 from incentive 10 and $30,659.25 from incentive 11.

The Duncan Area Economic Trust Authority approved the requests with a 5-0 vote, following a 45-minute executive session, behind closed doors.

Trustee Nick Fischer said the request was for a lot money, and he would like for the authority to resume quarterly briefings to stay up to date on funding requests and the amounts being allocated.

Trustees deliberated another request from DAEDF to withdraw $12,321.35 in sales taxes revenue to incentivize a new industry, Model1 Commercial Vehicles, Inc.

While the request was also discussed in the closed-door session, Wheeler said in the public meeting the monies would be a second payment to Model1 of funds approved by the Authority back in July, 2023.

"The Model1 Commercial Vehicles, Inc. incentive was based on the number of new hires starting Aug. 1, 2023," she said.

Fischer questioned the total number of incentives earmarked for Model1.

DAEDF President and CEO Lyle Roggow said there is just one active job incentive going to Model1.

Mayor Robert Armstrong asked how many are people are employed by the company.

Roggow said there are 23 employees. "This is for 16 that were qualified," he said.

Roggow said the company plans to add another 14 jobs.

"I think by the time we get to the very end of this, it's going to be close to 100 jobs," he said. "They're limited to the number and the dollar amount for those incentives."

Roggow said the company is pleased with its decision to locate in Duncan.

"They will be here for our annual appreciation banquet on Feb. 29," he said. "They will be the program that night, so you'll get to hear a little bit about them as a company and their decision that they made to come to Duncan."

In addition to the anticipated jobs, Roggow said they look to add graphic arts and design services which would allow them to wrap the buses they service before going to the customers.

Roggow said the business could expand up to a 100,000 square foot facility at its prospective Eastland location. He said it would be about two acres of building and the facility would be larger than the Sensia location which is 84,000 square feet.

"What we're looking at is roughly about 14 acres," he said. "We're talking now, about the fact, about how many buses are getting ready to come in."

Trustees approved the $12,321.35 request with a 5-0 vote.