Media Center
  • Friday, March 04, 2016
    Council OKs tax abatement
    The Brenham City Council has approved tax abatement for a local industry which wants to expand into a new operation.
    Valmont Industries is planning to convert a building here that formerly housed its utilities operations into a galvanizing facility.

    Council members Thursday unanimously approved tax abatement for the project, which will cost an estimated $14.8 million and bring 40 new jobs.
    Clint Kolby, projects manager for the Brenham Economic Development Foundation, said Valmont’s proposal is “a substantial positive economic impact.”
    Valmont, which manufactures lighting standards at its plant here, last year received city and county approval for the galvanizing plant, but then put the project on hold because of an economic downturn.
    Michael Riley, who will serve as general manager of the new Valmont Coatings operation, said that in addition to galvanizing steel poles manufactured here, the company also hopes to draw customers “from a very broad geographic area.”
    Riley said Valmont wants the plant to be operational as soon as possible.
    “We’re working feverishly to finalize the plans,” he told council members.
    Brenham and Washington County offer tax abatement as an incentive for expansion of existing businesses or to entice others to move here.
    Qualifying applicants have a portion of their city and county property taxes “abated” according to a sliding scale that uses the monetary investment and the number of jobs being created.
    The EDF estimated Valmont will receive abatements totaling $926,995 — including $441,119 in city taxes.
    But it will pay a total of about $1.6 million in “new taxes” by the end of the tax phase-in period.
    The Brenham school district and Blinn College do not offer tax abatement.
    The council also:
    • Approved a five-year contract with Progressive Waste Solutions to provide trash pickup services to small commercial customers here.
    Texas Commercial Wastes has had the contract for the past 13 years, but public works director Dane Rau said Progressive Waste Solutions offered lower rates.
    “I think our customers are going to be very happy to see those rates,” said Rau.
    Rau also said Progressive Waste also rated the highest in evaluations.
    • Approved a noise variance request from the Washington County Ministerial Alliance for a Good Friday community worship service at Hattie Mae Flowers Park.
    • Recognized Jason Derrick, 20 years with the Brenham Police Department; and Lorenzo Moreno Jr., the recycling center manager, also 20 years.