Jobs, Water & History at W.F. City Council - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Jobs, Water & History at W.F. City Council

Wichita Falls City Counselors met Tuesday morning to discuss water reuse, new jobs and preserving history at the new airport.

They approved a plan to apply for a T-38 Talon to be put on display at the new Regional Airport. While they haven't agreed on a purchase yet, this is the next step in securing part of the planned display.

The city council has been working with the Museum of North Texas History (MOTH), hoping to display both the Curtiss Kenny and a T-38 to highlight the city's commitment to military flight training over the past century.

Director of Aviation Traffic & Transportation John Burrus took time to praise the MONTH and their fundraising efforts. He said, "They've exceeded that goal and through a lot of hard work and perseverance it looks like were getting ready to move forward with the construction of this display space."

Newschannel 6 also caught up with Public Works Director Russell Schreiber to discuss the Temporary Water Reuse Project. City staff members were hoping to have approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by the end of June, but it hasn't come though yet.

Staff members are having weekly conference calls with TCEQ officials, and so far there have been no major issues with the plan. Their next call is scheduled for Wednesday and all indications from Austin, TX so far have been positive.

Schreiber said, on Wednesday, his staff plans to start informally looking at proposals and contractors in preparation for the bidding process.

In addition, the city council approved a $928,000 economic development plan to bring a railcar servicing company to Wichita Falls.

Eagle Railcar Services specializes in repairing and refurbishing old railcars and getting them back into service. Chamber of Commerce Interim President Kevin Pearson called the company's finances "first class".   

The company will have a $500,000 forgivable loan and cash for jobs incentives to create 64 new jobs. Assistant City Manager Kevin Hugman said the cash is tied to creating and sustaining jobs. He said, "This loan would be forgivable over 7 years assuming they maintain a total of 64 positions during that time frame."

Pearson also added there is room for growth. He said, "They're going to employ 64 people over three years, but that's a minimum. They currently have about 162 people working in Elkhart and they thoroughly plan for this local operation to become that large if the business is there."

The company plans to invest $7-million in the community and potentially work out of the old Vetrotex facility on Allendale Road, though the sale of that property has not been finalized.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6

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