Directors of the Henrietta Growth Corporation approved a budget of $416,410 for Fiscal Year 2014 during a regular meeting Monday night.
Included in the budget is an expected 10 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the City of Henrietta. The estimation is based on a growth in revenue in 2013. With two months remaining in the fiscal year, the HGC has already collected it share of $80,000, and expects to reach $85,000 — an increase of 10 to 14 percent. HGC is funded by a .25-cent ‘4B’ sales tax designated by the state for economic development.
All lines in the proposed budget will remain the same as this year with the exception of a few increases. The communications line will grow from $1,000 to $1,700; the budget for legal fees increases from $2,000 to $3,000; and website costs will increase from $800 to $1,000. The HGC and City of Henrietta plan to develop a new website to better communicate with citizens and prospective business owners.
The board of directors also approved an increase in the HGC Façade Grant fund, from $2,500 to $5,000. The increase allows for two façade grants of $2,500 each. The additional amount will come from the HGC’s business assistance budget of $315,910.
The HGC has a cash balance of $320,000.
In his report to directors, Henrietta Economic Development Director Rick Langford noted that construction of the Pecan Shed, located on the Hwy. 287 South access road, next to the Henrietta Best Western, is moving along at a steady clip as the business prepares for an Oct. 1 opening.
SFN Associates, a company that purchased 1,000 acres eight miles south of Henrietta on Hwy. 287 with the intent of building a manufacturing facility, is in the process of conducting feasibility studies. The company requires Water, railroad access and water for production, which could come from effluent from the city’s south wastewater treatment facility. If constructed, the plant would employ as many as 50 people.
Langford said a former mechanic’s shop and tire store located on East Omega Street has recently been purchased with plans to open a restaurant. Called Susie’s Out West Steak House, the company is relocating from Colorado and has met with Langford to discuss possible business assistance.
Blue Ridge Exotic Transporters, builder of custom aluminum trailers, continues production in the former Silver Creek manufactured homes building. Langford said the company has yet to seek any tax incentives that would require the company to maintain a certain number of employees.
Free wi-fi offered around the courthouse square should soon improve with the addition of four antennas provided by Pinnacle Wireless Solutions. The free commercial-grade wi-fi account was offered by the company as part of a agreement to sell its product in Henrietta. The equipment is expected to be installed Wednesday.