LEDC Meeting Impacted by City Departures

The Levelland economic development Corporation (LEDC) Board had their regular meeting in the noon hour Thursday for a quick meeting full of setbacks. With the recent departure of the City Chief financial Officer Sarah Osburn and the impending resignation of City Manager Brandon Anderson, financial reports for the group were impacted. Executive Director for the LEDC Justin Balderas stated that work was being done to catch up, and that 2 months worth of financials would be reviewed at the next meeting to compensate. This was also brought up in his Director’s Report later in the meeting, in which he stated that despite many changes of leadership with the City it was still “business as usual” for their department. He then mentioned a resignation of the head of HR for the City of Levelland, Melissa Allgeyer. After checking with the City Secretary, KLVT News can now confirm Allgeyer’s departure as well. This will be the 3rd confirmed Departmental Head to leave the City of Levelland in just 2 short months.

There was also an update on the situation with Envirotech at the rail park given in this meeting, with the LEDC positioning themselves to reimburse the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Grant funds. This agenda held a Memorandum of Understanding that was mostly for record keeping, but sheds a bit of light on the goings on at the rail park. The LEDC entered into an agreement with Enviro Tech in order to bring their business to Levelland, requiring them to create a certain amount of jobs for the community. In order to do so a rail spur needed to be constructed, so the LEDC secured a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture for $625K. These funds were transferred through the City of Levelland, and this Memorandum of Understanding would act as a paper trail to follow for a new CFO for the City. The Memorandum also states that Envirotech has violated their agreement with the LEDC by not creating the specified jobs, and closing their facility. KLVTNews reached out to Enviro Tech for comment and was told the closing of the plant was related to a recent buyout by the company Arxada, and was for “consolidation of Manufacturing”. The Memorandum also states “Both the City and the LEDC are pursuing Available legal remedies against Enviro Tech including reimbursement of the grant. funds the City of Levelland was required to pay back to the TDA”

The meeting was not all bad news, however. Balderas informed the board that on recent training trips, he’d noticed the reputation of the Levelland Rail Park was increasing, which he correlated to a hopeful uptick of businesses to Levelland. Despite the loss of multiple department heads, Balderas stated the LEDC is “business as usual,” and will continue to work towards the betterment of the Levelland market. To that end, a report on rail cars and sales tax was also presented with good results. So far the rail park has moved 1461 rail cars for the year, putting them just behind what was done last year. The monthly totals are about 209 cars per month compared to 237 last year, but on track nonetheless. For sales tax, the LEDC is averaging about $70k a month, with $89K coming in for April.

About Drew Dunn

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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