A proposed tire pyrolysis plant operated by Neo Waste of Corpus Christi is “a viable project that would be a really good fit for Plainview and Hale County,” according to Mike Fox, executive director of the Plainview-Hale County Economic Development Corporation.
On Friday, two company representatives, Vice President Gil Bartee and Sales Manager Tony Altemus, during Friday’s Hale County commissioner’s work session outlined the firm’s plans for a demonstration plant.
Fox, who missed Friday’s session due to other business commitments, offered his endorsement of the proposal at Monday’s regular session.
Fox said the project is in the preliminary stage with Neo Waste officials now negotiating with the PHCEDC executive committee on a proposed site — 5 acres of PHCEDC-owned land at 1535 Industrial Blvd. “This plant will be new ground-up construction,” Fox said. “We showed them several existing buildings, but none meet their needs.”
County Judge Bill Coleman said that Neo Waste and PHCEDC agree on terms for the site, which is inside Plainview, the city will take the lead on established a reinvestment zone for the purposes of tax abatements. “They are wanting to move quickly on this,” Coleman added.
Rather than a traditional tire recycling facility where waste tires are buffed for retreading or chipped to be mixed with asphalt for paving, the pyrolysis process uses heat to break the tires down to oil, carbon black, wire steel and gas. One industry representative explained, “Pyrolysis is not recycling. It is (a) high tech form of incineration.”
A primary reason for Neo Waste locating in Plainview is a mountain of more than a million junk tires at the Tyre King facility at 34th and Wood. The county, in conjunction with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, will likely be charged with overseeing cleanup of the hazardous materials site once the case works its way through the legal system.
On Friday, Neo Waste representatives indicated they would use the Plainview plant as a demonstration site for franchise prospects. The proposed facility will be able to process between 24 and 20 tons of junk tires per day. They estimate that the massive pile of tires at Tyre King could be gone within a year after they begin operation.
Company officials estimate construction costs of $1 million with an additional $1 million for equipment. They say the plant could be in operation in four to six months.
While commissioners took no action following that presentation, they did cast their votes for 2016-17 directors of the Hale County Appraisal District. Voting is limited to taxing entities within the county, with each allotted votes based on the size of their ad valorem tax roll. Hale County is allotted 3,208 votes, which is enough to elect 3.45 directors since it takes 929 votes to assure a place on the board.
However, with just 11 people nominated for 12 board seats, it’s apparent that everyone should be elected. Just in case, commissioners voted to give their nominee, Benny Cantwell, 930 votes, and made him their proxy to cast the rest of their votes as needed to elect nominees from smaller taxing entities.
In addition to Cantwell, other nominees are Marilyn Biggs, Plainview ISD; Leonor Espinosa, Plainview ISD; Sharon Kester-Fair, City of Abernathy; John Gicante III, City of Petersburg; Rhonda Jackson, Plainview ISD; Marilyn Koelder, Cotton Center ISD; Bobby McGehee, City of Plainview; Jimye Sadler, Plainview ISD; Ronnie Sherrod, Hale City ISD and City; and Marcus Sullivan, Abernathy ISD.
Harold King, who with Cantwell serves as county representatives on the board, declined to run for re-election.
In other action, commissioners:
–Approved current accounts payable of $193,230.93.
–Acknowledged that the county earned $32,581.81 through its investment portfolio during the first three quarters of 2015.
–Approved the Petersburg EMS monthly reports for July, August and September. During that period the service responded to 22 calls resulting in 15 transports.
–Authorized the Salvation Army to place a Christmas Kettle on the sidewalk outside the County Tax Office at Sixth and Broadway from Nov. 23 through Dec. 24.
–Approved the purchase of a laptop computer costing $2,525 for use in connection with elections. Funding will come from the Help America Vote Act Fund.
–Authorized a county credit card to be issued to County AgriLife Extension Agent Jason Miller.
–Approved a request to start the process to sell tax-forfeited property at 616 Highline Road in Hale Center for $1,000. An earlier $500 bid for the property was rejected by the City of Hale Center and Hale Center ISD.
–Authorized Sheriff David Mull to renew an annual contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety to purchase supplies for its Intoxilyzer along with various lab kits and investigative items.
–Authorized Mull to advertising for bids for two pickups to replace current patrol vehicles.