Conducting their last meeting at the Buffington Street annex Wednesday, Jan. 19, Grimes County Commissioners moved to approve a 381 Agreement with Champion Home Builders, Inc., at 9601 Industrial Drive in the Navasota Industrial Park.
The Agreement was the recommendation of a committee tasked with reviewing the County’s abatement and 381 Agreement policies in late 2021 after receiving a request from Champion for a $77,000 tax abatement.
Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Johnny McNally said, “The committee came back with some recommendations. One was rather than have a tax abatement, request that it become a 381 Agreement which allowed more latitude with the terms and also took away the need for variances with the Agreement. The second key item was rather than have a 5-year abatement, this would become a 3-year tax refund in the amount of 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 25% the third year.”
According to McNally, there were other items to be fulfilled such as agreeing to a minimum investment of $5 million and a cap on those improvements at $5.5 million for purposes of a tax refund.
McNally said, “We asked them to correct the tax rate, and requested they work with the county commissioner and me to determine targets for hiring a certain percentage of Grimes County residents to fill the 275 jobs they are looking to fill and agree to annual reporting. Skyline Champion was amenable to the suggestions.”
Champion Homes General Manager Scott Isom said, “We’re up to about 60 hires. All but a few of us are from Grimes County but we’re settling Grimes County now. We’re training. We’re building components. We don’t
have a rich depth of experienced help but we’ve got a robust training program. We’re building components and getting ready for our state and federal certification. We expect to have a ribbon cutting and celebrate with the community in April.”
Also present was City of Navasota Economic Development Specialist Rayna Willenbrink who explained the City’s nomination of Champion as a Texas Enterprise Zone Project. See related article on page xxx.
Covid testing sites setup
Emergency Management Services Coordinator David Lilly announced locations in Grimes County which will administer free, drive-thru Covid testing with results available within 24-hours.
Beginning Jan. 27, testing will be available from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursdays at the Navasota Center, the Bedias Community Center and in Todd Mission, and on Saturdays at the First Baptist Church in Navasota and the same locations in Bedias and Todd Mission.
Commissioner Barbara Walker also announced availability of Covid athome test kits through USPS at https://special.usps.com/testkits.
Other court action:
•Received introduction by Navasota’s new City Manager, Jason Weeks.
•Approved Consent Agenda items which included the Treasurer’s List of Claims and Bills and payroll.
•Recognized county employees for their years of service: Brian Kludt, five years, Bobbie Burns, 10 years, Deputy Jimmy Armatys, 15 years and Brenda Johnson, 15 years.
Real Property form which allows the County to turn over property at 10802 Spur 234 to the Todd Mission VFD for a controlled burn and training exercise Jan. 22-29 and authorized the county judge as signatory.
•After a public hearing with no comments against, approved the proposed replat of 19 acres at Granite Ridge Estates in Pct. 2, Section 1, Lot 3 from one lot to two lots.
•After a public hearing with no comments against, approved a proposed replat of 26 acres in Crown Ranch Section 5 in Pct. 2, amending Plat No. 1, Block 1, Lots 1-3 to two lots.
•After a public hearing with comments against, approved the proposed replat of Mill Creek Forest, Section 2, Lots 44 and 45 in Pct. 2 from two lots to five lots.
•Approved Road & Bridge Engineer Harry Walker’s request to go our for bids on the replacement of the CR 112 bridge at Bedias Creek in Pct. 1.
•Approved ARPA expenses submitted by County Auditor Jessi Murphy with the exception of three items on the list which did not have purchase orders.
Commissioners court may be viewed in its entirety at www.facebook.com/GrimesCountyCourtHouse.
Burn Ban: The burn ban remains lifted.