Weatherford Democrat

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March 22, 2014

Distributor taps into economic abatement agreement

WC trustees OK partnering with city in economic development deal for company; also tuition increase

By SALLY SEXTON

Weatherford College trustees Thursday voted to approve a potential partnership with the City of Weatherford for a new industrial development project.

Trustees gave the go-ahead to approve participation in a partial tax abatement agreement for a new business located on a property located off B.B. Fielder Road in Weatherford. The 40-acre property would be the home of the KEG 1 O’Neal warehousing, according to City of Weatherford Director of Development Dennis Clayton.

“This is about a $12 million project which would create around 100 jobs,” Clayton said.

Board president Frank Martin said the process would create an opportunity for part-time jobs for WC students.

“I believe [KEG 1 representatives] have already met with our career center, and they told us they would consider hiring our drivers as well,” Martin said.

WC President Kevin Eaton said the company had been in talks with the  City of Weatherford since 2008, the year city voters approved the open sale of alcohol.

Trustees voted for a 50 percent tax abatement over a five-year period, which could generate around $5,000 annually for the college.

The Weatherford College board also voted to adopt an increase in tuition fees for the 2014-15 school year.

Last month, Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs, presented recommendations, including a $4 increase per semester hour for students in-district, a $6 increase for out-of-district students and a $3 increase for out-of-state students. Other increases included $20 per credit hour of associate degree nursing, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant, radiological technology, respiratory care, diagnostic medical sonography and vocational nursing programs.

“We don’t want to scare off students, but [with the increase] we still cost a third less of a university,” Eaton said

Cantrell added that the majority of students involved were already getting financial aid, which would cover the additional costs.

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