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Waco, county approve $450,000 in grants for companies bringing operations to Waco

Waco, county approve $450,000 in grants for companies bringing operations to Waco

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The McLennan County Commissioners Court and Waco City Council approved $450,000 in deals Tuesday with Laminate Technologies of Texas and Ryonet Corp. that may bring 50 jobs to Waco paying a minimum of $13 per hour, fill two vacant buildings and generate more than $4 million in investments.

Ryonet Corp., which sells commercial screen-printing equipment, proposes to relocate operations in Atlanta, Georgia, and Edgerton, Kansas, to a vacant building at 215 Cotton Drive, behind the Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Fiat dealership at 201 West Loop 340. Ryonet would get $110,000 from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corp. in exchange for making at least $120,000 in property investments and hiring at least 10 people making a minimum of $13.50 an hour, plus benefits.

Laminate Technologies of Texas’ $340,000 Economic Development Corp. grant would come with requirements to spend about $4 million renovating a building on 37 acres at 1001 West Loop 340, and to fill 40 new jobs paying a minimum of $13 and hour, plus benefits, with the average wage of the jobs hitting at least $35,000 per year.

The city and county split cost of the Economic Development Corp. grants evenly, and the city council and commissioners court each must approve use of the money. The city and county plan to increase their annual contributions to the economic development fund by $250,000 each next year, bringing each entity’s contribution to $2.75 million for 2021.

SpaceX, Zinkpower

Also Tuesday, county commissioners finalized previously publicized deals with Zinkpower Waco and with SpaceX, which operates a rocket-testing plant in McGregor. Zinkpower is building a hot-dip galvanizing plant near 7500 Mars Drive that will employ at least 100 people. Structural steel is going up now, said Kris Collins, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s industry recruiter.

SpaceX will spend at least $10 million on infrastructure improvements and sound-muffling equipment at its testing facility in McGregor’s industrial park. Commissioners and the Waco City Council have pledged $2 million from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corp. fund.

SpaceX also has pledged to fund a permanent exhibit at the Mayborn Museum Complex on University Parks Drive and to pursue a collaboration with local school districts to provide enhanced math and science instruction.

Commissioners and the Waco City Council have pledged $700,000 from the fund to Zinkpower Waco, which is investing $31 million.

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