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."
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