A manufacturer of portable cabins and “system built” homes is looking at Henrietta as an option for a new plant.
Friday, Scott Clayton, president of the Henrietta Growth Corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding with Stone Creek Homes, a Nebraska company that specializes in workforce housing.
On Monday, the Henrietta City Council held the first of two required public hearings, and is expected to approve the agreement during its Jan. 9 meeting.
If approved, the memorandum requires that the company offer a minimum of 75 employee positions within five years, and that the company must keep the facility in operation for the same length of time. In return, Stone Creek Homes will receive $90,000 in 4B tax funds to be used in renovations to the plant. The amount agreed to by the HGC is $10,000 less than Stone Creek’s initial request. There are no tax abatements in the proposed agreement.
City Administrator Kelley Bloodworth, who was instrumental in providing the company with information about the former Silver Creek plant and the area, said neither the City of Henrietta nor Stone Creek are tied to the memorandum until the council approves the document, and the company acquires the property.
Bloodworth said the opportunity with Stone Creek “sort of fell into our laps.”
Clayton said Dave Ferguson, president of Stone Creek Homes, first contacted the city almost three months ago. At the time, the company was looking at options in Henrietta and in Waco.
Shortly after, Ferguson came to Henrietta and met for lunch with several community leader, council members and HGC directors.
In the last four years, Henrietta has seen one of its four small manufacturing companies close, and another move to Wichita Falls.
“It would be great for our community,” said Bloodworth of the company. “I know when Silver Creek shut down, it was devastating to Henrietta.”
Stone Creek is in the process of hammering out a lease-purchase agreement with David Silvertooth, former president of Silver Creek Homes, and owner of the main manufacturing facility. Rowdy Moore of Henrietta owns a neighboring property, on which a portion of the factory grounds is located.
Stone Creek Homes has manufacturing plants in Nebraska and Indiana. The company builds several styles of high-efficiency modular houses. The Henrietta plant would produce single-bedroom, cabin-style portable houses for areas with active oil fields and mines where there is a shortage of housing. The portable cabins are set up in what the company refers to as “Man Camps”.