City of Navasota Press Release
NAVASOTA (July 11, 2022) – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism (EDT) on May 23, announced the approval of a Texas Enterprise Zone project designation for an application submitted on behalf of Champion Home Builders Inc. by the City of Navasota.
The total capital investment for the project is estimated at $10.1 million. Champion Home Builders 270,0000 square-foot plant has been in operation since late 2021 and has already employed over 100 employees. The announcement noted that Champion Home Builders Inc. would enable the creation of a further 250 jobs in Navasota and Grimes County, ultimately impacting economic development within the region.
The project designation is effective until March 1, 2027, and Champion Home Builders, Inc. will be eligible to receive a refund from the state totaling up to $80,000 in state sales and use tax refunds as long as the guidelines for the project are met.
“I would like to thank the Governor’s office for approving the city’s application for this designation for Champion Homes,” says Bert Miller, Mayor, City of Navasota. “This will be an economic stimulus for Navasota and Grimes County, adding new jobs and capital investment to the property located in our industrial park.”
This is the first time since the Texas Enterprise Zone program has been established by the State, that the City of Navasota and Grimes County has ever nominated a business to be designated as an Enterprise Zone.
Champion Home Builders is proud to be in Navasota and Grimes County. “With the help of the community, and the Economic Development team in Navasota, we have had a successful start-up in Plant 1 and continue to progress on our goals,” says Scott Isom, Champion Home Builders General Manager. “We already employ over 100 local team members and expect to hire an additional 150 over the next year as we open Plant 2.”
Champion Home Builders is also grateful for the support from the County. Alongside the designation as an Enterprise Zone from the State, the Grimes County Commissioners also approved a Chapter 381 incentive agreement in May to help Champion Home Builders stimulate business and commercial activity within the County.
The Texas Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool by which local communities partner with the State of Texas to encourage job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas of the state. For a business to receive benefits under the program, the local community must initially nominate a business to enterprise project designation.
Additional media coverage: KWHI - Enterprise Zone Project Approved in the City of Navasota
Author: Connie Clements
Source: Navasota Examiner
"Conducting their last meeting at the Buffington Street annex Wednesday, Jan. 19, Grimes County Commissioners moved to approve a 381 Agreement with Champion Home Builders, Inc., at 9601 Industrial Drive in the Navasota Industrial Park.
The Agreement was the recommendation of a committee tasked with reviewing the County’s abatement and 381 Agreement policies in late 2021 after receiving a request from Champion for a $77,000 tax abatement.
Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Johnny McNally said, 'The committee came back with some recommendations. One was rather than have a tax abatement, request that it become a 381 Agreement which allowed more latitude with the terms and also took away the need for variances with the Agreement. The second key item was rather than have a 5-year abatement, this would become a 3-year tax refund in the amount of 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 25% the third year.'
According to McNally, there were other items to be fulfilled such as agreeing to a minimum investment of $5 million and a cap on those improvements at $5.5 million for purposes of a tax refund.
McNally said, 'We asked them to correct the tax rate, and requested they work with the county commissioner and me to determine targets for hiring a certain percentage of Grimes County residents to fill the 275 jobs they are looking to fill and agree to annual reporting. Skyline Champion was amenable to the suggestions.'
Champion Homes General Manager Scott Isom said, 'We’re up to about 60 hires. All but a few of us are from Grimes County but we’re settling Grimes County now. We’re training. We’re building components. We don’t have a rich depth of experienced help but we’ve got a robust training program. We’re building components and getting ready for our state and federal certification. We expect to have a ribbon cutting and celebrate with the community in April.'
Also present was City of Navasota Economic Development Specialist Rayna Willenbrink who explained the City’s nomination of Champion as a Texas Enterprise Zone Project."
NAVASOTA, Texas (KBTX) -Navasota High School students will soon have the opportunity to work toward their aviation and aerospace careers all before they graduate high school.
Navasota ISD is now the fourth school district in the lone star state to partner with Tango Flight, a 501c3 educational non-profit corporation created to inspire the next generation of engineers, pilots, aviation mechanics, and technicians.
A small ceremony was held Saturday to introduce the new program to school board members and the community. During the ceremony, Tango Flight personnel took the new plane for a test flight. School officials also debuted its custom vertical stabilizer, commonly known as the Tail Fin, at the ceremony.
The aviation program will be the latest addition to the district’s STEM- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics- program along with their Career and Technology Education.
Navasota ISD Superintendent Dr. Stu Musick says the district is excited to offer the new program for students interested in aerospace and aviation engineering careers.
“There are currently 12 high schools in the nation that have this program, and there are three high schools in the State of Texas. Navasota High School will be the fourth high school in the State of Texas to offer this program for our students,” said Musick. “Whether they’re going to a four-year university or they’re going to a junior college or going into a trade school, straight into the military or graduating from Navasota High School and going straight to work, we want them to be prepared for whatever their next chapter in life is. And we feel that Navasota High School is going to give them a great opportunity to do that.”
The aviation engineering program and curriculum will begin the 2022-2023 school year. School officials say the course will take two years to complete.
Article retrieved from Intelligence 360 News, "Navasota, Texas — According to state and local economic development sources HealthPoint plans to invest $2,300,000.00 to build out 7,000 square feet of new space in Navasota. The company plans to occupy the new space at 8310 State Highway 6 in Navasota, on or about September 1, 2022. According to the company website It is the mission of HealthPoint to provide evidence-based healthcare, utilizing a patient empowered team approach, resulting in individual wellness. HealthPoint offers a range of services, including adult and pediatric medical care, dental care, behavioral health, and prenatal care.
To learn more about HealthPoint, visit http://www.healthpoint-tx.com/
Terri Sabella, Chief Executive Officer
'June 16 marks 75 years that Navasota LP-Gas Co. has provided liquid petroleum services to Grimes and surrounding counties. Owner Chad Ross continues the three generation legacy begun by his grandfather Norman Bounds, and carried forward by his father Bob Ross. The reason for this longevity is best summed up by the company’s ability to meet the needs of 4,000-plus customers, and its work ethic.
Ross said, “Over the years lots of things have changed, regulations have changed, and we’ve been able to stay up with all of that. We’ve had a pretty much spotless safety records in 75 years. There’s a lot more competition now than there was when I first started and we’ve been able to hold our own because of the service we provide.”
He continued, “My grandad was always busy, whether it was here or at his place. My dad was the same way. It was a work ethic I grew up with…that to get to where you want to be, you’ve got to adapt to the changes, which we have down here, and you keep working.”
All three generations have been active on the board of the Texas Propane Gas Association (TPGA), and in the early 2000s, even lobbied for regulation changes within the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) which governs the LP gas industry.
Ross said, “We’re a very overregulated industry but it’s kept this industry in this state pretty safe. Therefore, there are not many accidents that happen.”
Ross said that all of his employees have the required Hazmat, Department of Transportation, and RRC certifications and attend continuing education classes.
He said, “It’s a lot to do what we do. We’ve been able to maintain all the customers we’ve got and there’s only six of us.”
Grimes County has changed significantly since 1946 when the company was formed.
Ross said, “More people are moving out of the city and into the rural area. All of these big farms and ranches that use to be around here, they’re being sold off. New little subdivisions are everywhere. We’re still providing fuel to those lands whether it’s farm or ranch but now it’s from a different perspective because it’s to take care of your home and keep you comfortable.”
A change since 2000 is the increase in home generator use. While Navasota LP-Gas Co. doesn’t sell generators, they provide the propane to run them.
Ross said, “There are more homes being built nowadays either all-electric with a standby generator, or that generator is their backup electricity if they have gas heat, water, cooking, dryer, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. If their power goes out, they can still function like they do on a daily basis because they have a backup generator. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the generator business.”
In this century alone, Navasota LP-Gas Co. has withstood Hurricane Ike, a pandemic, and the “Texas Freeze.”
Recalling Navasota’s week without electricity in 2008 during Ike, Ross said his mom, dad and longtime employee Gail Finke moved a desk into the shop, plugged in a portable generator, a computer, and thanks to their landline, were able to service customers by filling cylinders and delivering to those with generators.
The industry, however, is still feeling the impact of the 2020 pandemic.
Ross said, “The propane tanks we install at customer homes, since the first of the year, have gone up almost 40-50% and it’s very hard to get them. We can place an order for a load of tanks and it’s almost 17 weeks before we get them. Barbecue cylinders have been on backorder since February. We’ve had people come as far away as Huntsville, Houston, and Hearne looking for those cylinders because there are none around.”
Navasota LP-Gas Co. was in better shape during the February freeze than other industry suppliers. Ross said they were able to provide gas for several days. While they couldn’t get trucks on the road, they filled containers for people as far away as Conroe, the north side of Houston and Hearne.
He said, “We still do so much of our stuff old school. We can still load our trucks the old-fashioned way. We don’t rely on all of the electronic gadgets which a lot of companies have tried to stay up with over the course of the years.”
Enjoy what you do
Ross enjoys the camaraderie and sense of family at Navasota LP-Gas Co.
He said, “As a little kid, I thought it was the neatest thing to get on one of those big trucks to go with my dad or my granddad to go do something.”
Ross worked in the family business while in high school and began fulltime in 1987, obtaining his certifications that same year. Bob took the reins in 1971 with Chad’s mother Annie by his side, and the mantle passed to Chad after his mother died in October 2019 followed by his father in March 2020.
He said, “I miss my dad and grandad every day, and not be able to walk in here and talk to them, it’s tough. Not being able to bounce ideas off them, it’s tough.”
Ross continued, “With both of them passing, it required me to be here in the office more. I used to do all the service work, getting out and meeting the customers. It’s a little different. I miss the interaction of being out in the field.”
Ross credits his knowledge and skills to his grandfather, his father, and the many long-term Navasota LP-Gas employees.
He said, “Their loyalty to the company and to me speaks volumes. We enjoy coming to work. We made it fun. If you can’t enjoy what you do, you might as well get out and do something different.”'
'"At the intersection of the town’s two major thoroughfares, Washington Avenue and La Salle Street, keen-eyed visitors to downtown Navasota may notice a colorful logo included on a sign mounted onto the wall of Dr. Donna Canney’s building.
'Train Town USA,' the sign proclaims, juxtaposing images of classic steam and diesel locomotives on either side of the Union Pacific Railroad logo. In 2012, when the company celebrated its 150th anniversary, it began the 'Train-Town' program, and Navasota was one of the first locales in Texas to be so honored. 'The railroad is the main reason Navasota is here,' town mayor Bert Miller told the Houston Chronicle newspaper in a 2012 article entitled, “Navasota: The Town That Trains Built.” Miller is still mayor of the Grimes County community, and the trains still keep passing through his town, as many as 30 times a day.
Adjacent to the Union Pacific tracks which bisect Navasota’s Historic Downtown District — listed on the National Register of Public Places — is the old cotton gin that is the current Navasota residence of Bryan real estate developer Zane Anderson. In restoring the 10th Street building, Anderson refreshed the sign that was painted along the side of the structure facing the railroad tracks.
Once again, the sign proudly proclaims in all caps: 'NAVASOTA COTTON.'
Just five years after Navasota was founded in 1854, the Houston and Central Texas Railway extended a line of track into the fledgling town. An offer was first made to build the line through nearby Washington, the birthplace of Texas, but leaders there declined the opportunity. Soon, Navasota became a bustling boomtown, loading raw — and eventually processed — cotton and its byproducts onto train after train after train. From that point, Washington, despite its historic importance, never stood a chance of competing with its nearby municipal rival.
As for the 'chicken-and-egg' element of this story, cotton came to the Navasota area long before the train. Cotton was introduced to Texas by Spanish missionaries and then embraced by white settlers who, over time, took up the plantation-style business model of the Deep South. Thus, with a perceived need to preserve the slave labor force which drove cotton production on Texas plantations, the Lone Star State rebelled against “Northern aggression' and fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
After the war, the influx of vanquished Confederate soldiers searching to resurrect their old agrarian ways in Central Texas, coupled with the presence of newly liberated slaves freed from the area’s existing plantations, triggered an outbreak of violence and lawlessness from which Navasota increasingly suffered for the next several decades. Railroad Street became the hub of much of the town’s infamy and vice.
Today, Railroad Street is the site of public and private redevelopment efforts looking to restore a block-long stretch of historic buildings in the downtown area. Zane Anderson is redeveloping the south end of the block, while in the middle, Houston attorney Steve Scheve and his wife Janice are in the midst of an ambitious four-year restoration of the P.A. Smith Hotel, once known as the 'jewel of Navasota.'
Train Town USA is again a city on the rise, and when The Smith reopens its doors — the Scheves are hoping for a late-summer launch — Navasota’s long familiar railway traffic will be there right outside the hotel’s main entrance to both welcome and bedazzle onlookers.
Pattie Pederson has had a front-row seat for her town’s revival along the Union Pacific line. She owns The Gallery Downtown, an art gallery in Navasota, just a stone’s throw from The Smith, and also serves as a Navasota city councilwoman.
'I am so thankful to all of the people that have given their love, time, money, and trust to restore Navasota’s charm,' Pederson says. 'Our once sleepy little downtown is waking up, and the historic Railroad District is making history again!' "
**Click here to read the full magazine article.
Storyteller Tim Gregg is a former award-winning radio sportscaster and public relations director on the Virginia Slims World Championship women’s tennis series, and a long-time marketing communications consultant. He is the author of 10 books, including RELLIS Recollections and Embracing The Cross, the life story of retired Bryan judge Travis Bryan III. Tim and his wife, Nancy, live in College Station.
Over the last year, Dr. Justin Bullock’s capstone class at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University has worked with the City of Navasota to produce an amazing report highlighting the City’s Capital Improvement Projects.
The team, including Crayton Brubaker, Jim Engelke, Lindsey Gonzalez, Julie Koerner, and Alicia Ortman, created a detailed project, showing the last 15 years of infrastructure improvements in Navasota. The report and map show where and what type of projects took place, including road & bridge construction, water & wastewater projects, gas improvements, beautification & revitalization, and drainage and flood mitigation.
Once again, amazing job to the team, and thank you for your incredible work! If you want a copy of the pamphlet or report, please visit Navasota City Hall. #SoMuchSoClose #Navasota #EconDevWeek #EDW2021
In honor of Economic Development Week (May 9-15), Navasota is excited to welcome two new businesses to the community, Nava Nutrition and Blackberry & Honeysuckle. Located in central Navasota, both businesses are set to open later this summer.
Blackberry & Honeysuckle will be located on 102 E. Washington Avenue in Downtown Navasota. The store features custom, curated gift boxes that can be gifted for several occasions such as baby showers, Mother’s Day presents, bridesmaid surprises, and birthday gifts. All gift boxes include a complimentary handwritten note card, sealed with their wax seal. For more information on when Blackberry & Honeysuckle will be opening their new retail space, visit them on Facebook or Instagram.
Nava Nutrition is a new smoothie and juice bar locating at 415 N LaSalle Street. The shop will focus on healthy alternatives such as healthy shakes, energizing drinks and teas, protein coffee and much more. Having a more modern and rustic look, Nava Nutrition will also serve as a local hangout location, providing free WiFi and a comfortable set up for their patrons. For updates on Nava Nutrition’s opening date, you can check them out on Facebook or Instagram.
Stay tuned this week for more exciting announcements and things happening in Navasota! #SoMuchSoClose #EconDevWeek #EDW2021
"Thanks to people of vision and those with jackhammers, cement trucks and electric saws, Navasota’s historic Railroad Street is being reborn. One new occupant who was able to see past the construction rubble to bring another element of charm to Navasota’s quaint downtown is Tanya Ingram. Ingram’s Southern Charm Boutique and Salon at 119 S. Railroad opened in early 2021 and her vision is paying off.
It was in 2019 when Ingram closed her Montgomery salon to relocate to Navasota. The move would allow the Navasota resident more time with her children who are very involved in Navasota school activities, but finding a location was more difficult than anticipated.
Ingram said, “We actually started the process here in December 2019. It seemed like every door would shut. We couldn’t find buildings available that were what we wanted. Then Covid hit. It was kind of a blessing in disguise that we didn’t open the shop back then.”
While Ingram’s husband wasn’t opposed to the idea, he had some reservations which weren’t helped by the image of busted concrete, dirt streets and businesses cordoned off behind barricades and chain link fencing.
Ingram said, “Believe it or not, my husband didn’t see my vision. When he saw the road and the building, he was a little standoffish. I saw it in my heart, my soul, my mind and I knew.”
As Ingram stood there pondering the building’s potential, as if by divine intervention, a stranger started a conversation. Ingram said, “Ana from the Examiner walked by while I was looking at it. She told me all about the Railroad District and what was coming. That was the very moment I knew this was what we were doing and where we were going to be.”
Read the full article on the Navasota Examiner.
The Navasota Economic Development Corporation and the City of Navasota are very excited to announce the launch of our new Navasota EDC website! From information on healthcare, housing, and education to workforce data and much more, the NavasotaEDC.com can provide you with all you’d want to know about what is going on in our community. #Navasota #SoMuchSoClose