At this evening’s Independence City Commission meeting, commissioners approved an incentive agreement with Precision Railway Equipment Company, LLC to facilitate the company’s expansion into the West Laurel Industrial Park. The agreement allows the City to transfer a 14.51-acre tract of land to Precision for construction of a new facility where the company will expand its business, which involves the remanufacturing of railroad track surfacing and maintenance equipment and providing related contract services. The company currently operates a facility on South 19th Street in Independence and intends to retain that facility as well.
City Manager Kelly Passauer explained the property is valued at $145,100 and, under the agreement, will be transferred to Precision with the purchase price forgiven over a six-year period, provided the company meets specific terms for employee retention and hiring. The company currently employs 32 and expects to create an additional 15 jobs over the next six years.
In addition to the property agreement, the City is applied for Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) funding to support the enhancement of driveways and construction of two new entrances to the property to facilitate truck and heavy equipment traffic. The City was notified late this afternoon that KDOT has modified its original grant from $790,070 to $1,103,992 to encompass street improvements to serve both the distribution center and Precision.
Precision’s project is expected to cost approximately $2 million, and construction could begin as early as October.
In addition to more local jobs, Passauer explained, the project will have a positive ripple effect for other local businesses in terms of materials, goods and services purchased in the process of facility construction and among business travelers for the parent company, located in Texas.
“We are very pleased Precision Railway has made the decision to expand its operations here,” Passauer said. “The company evaluated out-of-state options, and its choice to remain in Independence is an economic win for our community.
“I would like to thank Mike Borovetz and Scott Taylor from Precision who worked closely with the Economic Development Subcommittee during this process. I would also like to thank my fellow members of the Economic Development Subcommittee Team, Chair Chuck Goad; Jim Kelly, MCAC Interim Director; Trisha Purdon, former MCAC Director; Assistant City Manager David Cowan; and Finance Director Lacey Lies. I would like to thank the State of Kansas Departments of Commerce and Transportation who have been very helpful with both industrial projects. Last, but not least, I would like to thank the City Commission for their support of these great projects that will have a positive impact on our community for years to come.”