JEDCO Employer of the Month

Austin Bank was named the “Employer of the Month” by the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Pictured from left are JEDCO President James Hubbard, Regional President Nathan Jones and Jacksonville-based location presidents Joan Malone and Shawn Eyre.

City workers received a green light from the Jacksonville City Council Tuesday for up to an additional $5,000 in city funds to extend a sewer line across U.S. Highway 79, allowing completion of an upgrade of existing infrastructure.

The council voted 4-0 – District 2 Councilman Jeff Smith was not present – to approve the request that. The original TXCBG grant providing waterline extension on Elberta Street fell short of actual cost of the project, according to minutes from the meeting.

In other action, the council unanimously approved “the redirection of (Jacksonville Police Department)Watchguard system funds from in-car camera and body camera upgrades, to data storage upgrades.”

While implementing the project, the department's IT staff discovered a greater need for a storage device for department evidence from car and body cams; as well as for an upgrade of desktops for its criminal justice information system compliance and to replace body cameras, according to the document.

Funding will remain the same at $40,0000, with allocations for $4,185 for computer upgrades and $35,815 for storage.

Also, the council voted to change developmental department fees for remodel, sign and swimming pool permits. Currently, fees are based on the value of a project; however, H.B. 852 recently passed by the State Legislature prevents this. The updated fees are $0.05 per square foot for remodel and pool permits, and a $75 flat-fee for sign permits.

In other action, the council unanimously approved economic development incentives, including those for:

– Green STS Electronic Recycling, Inc. ($125,000). This project was unanimously approved by JEDCO Board at the June 10 meeting. The project provides up to $125,000 of reimbursable assistance toward the following items at the company's new operation located at 301 S. Bolton St. (former Discount City): Roof repairs, fire suppression system enhancements, new truck dock, overhead doors, exterior glass doors, and other improvements as approved by JEDCO in writing. To receive reimbursement the company must provide proof of completed work and payments, obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, and paint all sides of the primary structure, according to meeting minutes.

– Green Triangle Materials, LLC ($120,000). This project provides up to $120,000 of reimbursable assistance for the installation of a new fire suppression system in the approximately 65,000-square-foot building, located at 1498 N. Bolton. The system is estimated to cost $178,000. To receive reimbursement the company must provide proof of completed work and payment, obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, and install a fire suppression system that will provide adequate coverage to the entirety of the existing primary structure, the document stated.

Austin Bank was recognized by JEDCO as the city's July Employer of the month during Tueday's meeting. The bank is headquartered in Jacksonville, with more than 30 locations in 20-plus cities throughout the region. The bank continues to grow and recently completed renovations on a new regional training center in historic downtown Jacksonville. The training center is more than 15,000 square feet inside “and has restored vibrancy, increased the daytime population and beautified downtown,” according to the document.

Regional President Nathan Jones, and Jacksonville-based Location Presidents Shawn Eyre and Joan Malone accepted the award, presented by JEDCO President James Hubbard.

A report from Jacksonville City Manager Greg Smith included the following:

• The graph has been removed from the water bill, which is intended to allow more room for messages to citizens. Graph information will be available online.

• Code Enforcement will follow up with citizen participation comments.

• A flyer informing citizens about utility billing changes has been delayed due to a vendor equipment issue, and is expected to be delivered next week.

• Lake Jacksonville Association had very successful Independence Day events.

• We are aware of the overgrowth at some of our parks, and are working hard to catch up on mowing.

• The splash pad shade cover capital improvement project is complete, and has been well used already during the Independence Day weekend.