The Waxahachie City Council granted a tax abatement to Cardinal Coated Glass during its meeting Monday night.

The request was for $3.2 million capital investment to expand the company’s glass coating production line, which will take place in February and March.

“Cardinal is a glass company that serves the residential window market. It was started in Minnesota and Anderson Windows was its first major account. At our operation in Waxahachie, we service customers like Champion and Builders First Source in Houston. Our products serve the housing market with high-end energy-efficient glass that helps reduce a home’s utility costs to air condition and heat while maintaining a more comfortable environment for the occupants,” Cardinal CG plant manager Michael Diedrich said.

“The effect on the local housing markets should be positive,” he said. “The products met a 30-30 window performance tax incentive criteria in 2010. We believe this project is consistent with the city’s and development authorities’ wish to have a vibrant and growing industrial development base that creates jobs and opportunities within the community.”

Diedrich said Cardinal holds 80 percent of the market share and this new window should help keep it there. The company’s payroll for 2012 will be more than $4 million, with its operating budget for 2011 estimated at about $46.5 million.  

“With the housing market downturn at the end of 2006 going into 2007 we were close to a 150 people. We went down into the 120s and are back at 135. We went from three shifts on the coater to four shifts on the coater in the fall of 2009,” Diedrich said. “I added two engineering positions this last year. We run two complementary production lines in addition to the coater. We have a high volume cutting line and we do tempering, which is for safety glass around doorways and shower doors.”

Diedrich said he anticipates adding the 10-plus jobs to meet the threshold of the tax abatement.

In other business, Mid-Way Regional Airport Board chairman Paula Baucum gave an update on the developments, saying that since the completion of the runway expansion, a $100,000 grant has been received from the Texas Department of Transportation. The funds will be used to hire a consultant who will update the airport’s master plan, which identifies needs and areas of growth. Ninety percent of the grant is paid for by TxDOT and the remaining 10 percent will be split between Waxahachie and Midlothian at $5,000 each.

Baucum said the next project is the renovation of the main terminal building, which will create spaces for businesses and a restaurant. On the outside there will be a covered area for the public to watch airplanes as well as a deck off of the second floor.

Prior to the regular meeting a work session was held with Mike Ramsey, chairman of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee about how to bring in new businesses. Topics that were discussed include using a real estate firm to help market the city, offering incentives for attracting new businesses, updating the city’s master plan and preparing a strategic plan that is focused on economic development in today’s market.

Director of environmental health Sonny Wilson presented changes to code enforcement ordinances relating to junked vehicles and outdoor storage for discussion.

Council approvals were given to:

• a resolution adopting guidelines and criteria for governing economic development incentives.

• a resolution supporting the findings of the U.S. Highway 77 corridor study.

• an interlocal cooperation contract between the county and the city for the use of the city’s gun range and the county’s training facility rooms was approved.

• an ordinance for a May 14 election for two city council members.

• a joint election agreement with Waxahachie ISD.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.