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Longview City Council supports upgrades at Trinity

By Sherry Koonce skoonce@news-journal.com
Nov. 8, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Trinity Tank Car received the support of Longview's City Council on Thursday in its quest to make a $44 million investment at its facility during the next five years.

The council agreed to nominate the company for participation in the Texas Enterprise Zone Program. If approved, the company will be eligible to receive state sales tax incentives, and to use tax refunds on qualified expenditures. The level and amount of the refund relates to the capital investment and number of jobs created, or retained.

Trinity produces a full line of tank cars that transport liquified and pressurized commodities. The company owns and operates facilities at 708 Jordan Valley Road, 1111 W. Harrison Road, 202 Progress Blvd. and 140 Shady Brook Lane - all of which operate as one manufacturing unit.

Assistant City Manager Chuck Ewings said no new jobs are expected to result from Trinity's facilities improvements, but the company has committed to retain existing employees.

In July, the company employed 807 - making it one of the city's top five employers, according to information provided by the City of Longview's website.

"This is part of a retention project," Longview Mayor Jay Dean said.

The company could add more jobs later, Dean said.

The project will, however, result in added jobs during construction, as well as increased tax revenue from higher property values.

The council also gave staff members approval to apply for a $1.6 million Transportation Enhancement Program Grant to be used for beautification enhancements in the city's south side.

The competitive grant is administered by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Ewings said the project would spruce up medians along Estes Parkway near Loop 281 and add medians on Mobberly Avenue.

If Longview is awarded the grant, the city is responsible for paying a 20 percent match portion, about $322,000, as well as an estimated $286,000 for design costs.

Ewings said about $50 million is included in this round of Texas Transportation Program grant funding, to be divided among eligible projects across the state.

The grant application will be submitted next week, Ewings said.

Council also on Thursday awarded a $1.7 million contract to Mega Contractors, of Fort Worth, to rehabilitate and renovate the existing 8,375-square-foot historic train depot building. Funding is provided through a Federal Highway Enhancement Grant and Capital Improvement Project funds.

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