The Trumann City Council approved a motion to allow a $150,000 purchase of property in Industrial Park by the Trumann Industrial Development Committee at a special meeting on Thursday, Jan. 10.
The council had been presented the issue by Mayor Shelia Walters at their regular monthly meeting this month, but had requested to have more information before acting on the subject. The TIDC sent Barbara Lewallen, a member of the committee, to speak to the council in depth of their plans with the property.
"It's in the best interest for the city of Trumann to have say in what goes in our Industrial Park," said Lewallen.
Lewallen said that the property is owned by Region's Bank who has been leasing it to Ashley's Lighting in Trumann for storage. Ashley's Lighting no longer uses the building for inventory. The building on the property was built in 1991.
"Our goal as the TIDC is to promote the economic interest of the community," said Lewallen. "Everyone thinks we need new industry, well that's not going to happen."
Lewallen said the TIDC feels that the best chance of new jobs is thorough expansion of existing industries. If an existing industry in Trumann wanted to expand or lease the building for storage like Ashley's Lighting, Lewallen said that the TIDC has an obligation to those industries first. The primary goal for the committee is job creation.
"We are all about promoting and helping develop existing industries," said Lewallen.
As an economic developer on the TIDC, Lewallen was proud to announce that the committee has over one million dollars designated for economic development.
"A lot of money was given as grants, and we created a reuse plan instead of creating grants for industries like most cities," she said.
The council, also, accepted a motion for the TIDC to spend up to $50,000 in repairs on the building.
"We want them to be able to make any repairs needed without having to run to the council and have it be approved every time," said Mayor Walters.