Vernon City Commission gives support to Tyson expansion

The Vernon City Commission met Tuesday, Nov. 17 — moving the normal monthly meeting up a week due to the fourth Tuesday of November falling during Thanksgiving week.

The commission accepted the resignation of Place 2 commissioner Justin Marsh. Marsh was reelected earlier this month; however, he sold his home in the city limits and moved outside the city limits. The move happened to late to have his name removed from the ballot. The City presented Marsh with a personalized street sign.

Marsh thanked the citizens for their support; and thanked the commission and city staff and employees for their hard work.

Public comments were heard regarding property at 3112 and 3114 Main Street.

Representatives of a Houston Church said they still hoped to fix it up. The church group had received permission in December 2019 from the commission to clean it up, instead of it being condemned.

Mike Herchman spoke about the property’s current disrepair and overgrowth.

City Attorney Jon Whitsitt said the property was not on the agenda so the commission could not address it; however, it could be discussed  next month.

A proclamation of congratulations was presented to City Secretary Jo Stone for Texas Municipal Clerks Certification.

A public hearing on a resolution designating Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats as an Enterprise Project under the Texas Enterprise Act was held. After the public hearing, commissioners approved the resolution to nominate Tyson as an Enterprise Project, on a motion from Commissioner Don Aydelott.

Tyson’s intends to spend $21,712,252 on equipment and machinery at the Vernon location as part of an expansion. If they are awarded the designation, they will be able to apply for sales tax rebates on the equipment they purchase for the expansion and modernization project for the plant.

A second public hearing was held on a resolution on renewing policies, guidelines and criteria for tax abatements for the City of Vernon.

City Manager Marty Mangum said that a tax abatement for the Tyson project could be presented at a later date, but this was a first step..

City Attorney Whitsitt said these criteria needed to be on the books and approved every two years before an abatement for any entity, including Tyson’s, could be considered. The current abatement guidelines for the City of Vernon had expired in 2014, and had not been renewed.

Following the public hearing, commissioners approved the resolution on a motion from Jim Parmer.

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