WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls City Council voted Tuesday to approve $10 million worth of infrastructure improvements at the Wichita Falls Business Park.
Wichita Clutch is just one of a few businesses already at the park. City officials hope that this multi-million dollar project can help attract more businesses to this area after failing to do so in the past.
“We hear people talk to us all the time about we need to do things to stimulate this economy well this is part of the infrastructure that makes that happen,” City Councilor At Large Bobby Whiteley said.
Recruiting businesses to a city like Wichita Falls can be tough at times. Although businesses have been coming in steadily in the past few years, some businesses have chosen other cities.
“They tour every facility, they get with russ, we go eat dinner with them and inevitably I hate hearing back the feedback that we just don’t have these shovel-ready sites for them and they choose an Abilene or somebody else,” Mayor Stephen Santellana said.
Because of this, city officials are getting funds ready to make changes to the 525-acre business park.
Widening roads to make access easier and improving water and sewage are adjustments to the more than 400 acres of undeveloped land that officials hope will pay off with new incoming businesses.
“We think these expenditures and improvements will certainly be a huge advantage for the edc in attracting future development out there,” Director of Public Works Russell Schreiber said.
The project is to be completed in three phases over the next two years with a total cost of almost $10 million.
City council approved for it to be paid for by a 30-year bond where the city will pay $550,000 a year.
With the bond being paid for by existing sales tax revenue, which officials say totals over $4 million a year, this project is worth every penny.
“We’ve all been a little disappointed in the past that we’ve not developed it further along by now and I think part of the reason is maybe we were a little short on the infrastructure in the front end of it,” City Manager Darron Leiker said. “This is a $10 million dollar project but it’s going to pay dividends in the future no doubt about it.”
Officials hope to be moving dirt on Phase One of the project by June with an estimated completion date of summer 2023.