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Port of Victoria takes steps to attract business

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 | 00:00
The Port of Victoria is looking to sharpen its competitive edge with a certification that ensures 400 acres of its land is ready for development.

McCallum Sweeney Consulting certified the Victoria County Navigation District South Industrial Site as a large site.

Studies were conducted to ensure the site wasn't in wetlands, a flood plain. It was also looked at for any archaeological or environmental problems and to see if it was free of liens.

The certification will help the port entice companies to move land, said Mike Sizemore, spokesman for the port.

The certification lets companies know there are no obvious problems with the land before sinking any time and money into it, he said.

"We all work very hard to try to bring in new jobs and economic development in the area," Sizemore said. "Right now, there are multiple large businesses - manufacturing and other companies - looking to move to Texas and looking at Victoria. Port commissioners do everything they can to attract those. We're in a very competitive environment with other states and other areas of the state."

Port commissioners worked with the Victoria Economic Development Corporation and American Electric Power to complete the studies for the McCallum Sweeney certification.

McCallum Sweeney is a firm that helps with site selection for facilities that are relocating or adding operations. Dale Fowler, president of the VEDC, said the company's name carries weight in the industrial industry.

"They work with the industrial companies, they know what needs to be done and they know what these industrial companies are looking for in a site," Fowler said.

The certification has to be renewed every five years and updated if anything is built on the land, said Adrian Cannady, vice president of VEDC.

In addition to avoiding potential problems, the certification will also help companies on a tight timeline, Cannady said.

"By the time a company makes a decision that they have to put another facility on the ground somewhere, they're usually responding to market conditions," Cannady said.

"So the quicker that we can shorten the timeline from conceptualizing that plant site to actually having that plant site on the ground, bricks and mortar, the more advantageous our site looks to that prospect."
Source: Victoria Advocate
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