Once final steps are climbed in June, a company manufacturing precision rifle ammunition looks to make its home in Mineral Wells.
Precision Ammunition, which manufactures ammunition primarily for sporting and law enforcement, hopes to secure a $10 million non-recourse bond through the Industrial Development Foundation, said City Manager Lance Howerton.
“We had 26 offers from municipalities” to locate the manufacturing plant in those areas, said Precision CEO Matt Campbell, but chose Mineral Wells, in part, for its manufacturing facility because of the city’s location and proximity to distribution channels in the DFW metroplex.
The Industrial Development Corporation will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. on June 7 at the City Hall Annex on the proposed issuance of the bond, Howerton said.
Such a bond puts no obligation or no liability on the city, he said. The Industrial Foundation and the city just serve as a conduit for the ammunition manufacturer to get tax exempt financing through the state.
The manufacturer secures the bond with its own assets, whether it’s equipment, buildings, property or other securities, he said.
“It’s very benign to the city,” he said.
Howerton emphasized that in no way will the city or its citizens ever have to pay for the bond. There are also no damages to the city’s credit rating should a business default on the bond.
He said bringing the plant here looks to be feasible and has met the approval of the Texas Bond Review Board, as well as with the city’s bond counsel and financial advisors.
The company’s financials and other documentation have been reviewed and everything looks good, Howerton said.
Once the bond goes to public hearing through the Industrial Foundation for approval, it will then have to go through city council, he said.
“We’re working feverishly to get this bond program finalized,” he said.
The application process began in February, he said.
Once those approvals are made, then it’s just a matter of closing the deal for the manufacturer to open its doors, he said.
The plant will be located at 4430 Ellis White Drive and the corner of Lee Road, east of Farm-to-Market Road 1821, where another ammunition manufacturer had at one time planned to locate, he said.
Campbell said the company, which has its headquarters, shipping and quality control in Pflugerville near Austin, also liked the city itself, and he plans to move his family to Mineral Wells and place his children in the schools here.
Campbell, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, became CEO of Precision Ammunition in 2012, is also a partner with a precision rifle manufacturer in Argyle.
He said he also liked that the Mineral Wells area is generally pro Second Amendment.
The Mineral Wells facility will manufacture .22-caliber long rifle rounds, he said. Such rounds are in high demand.
“Demand [for .22 long rifle rounds] has increased dramatically yet no large American ammunition maker has added a new rimfire ammunition plant,” the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine notes.
The company sells commercially as well as to the military and law enforcement, Campbell said.
“We’re going to need several hundred people,” he said regarding job opportunities.
The application for the bond notes that up to 340 jobs could be created.
Campbell said, in addition to the manufacturing facility, a secondary branded merchandise business will open up, offering clothing and gun accessories.
He expects that once the bond is approved the company will start production within 30 days of closing, leasing facilities until a new plant and machinery can be put into place.
Construction of a new plant and installation of equipment will take about 10 months to a year.
He has been told June 16 will be the tentative closing date, should all application processes be met.