MIDLOTHIAN - Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples presented Mayor Boyce Whatley and MEDC executive Frank Viso with a check for $985,000 last Thursday.

The check will help pay for a road, but it really paves the way for jobs and a new factory in Midlothian.

The money will be used for infrastructure and road improvements at Railport Business Park to finalize the economic development package for Burlingame Industries.

Burlingame Industries is seeking to build a concrete roofing tile plant under its Eagle Roofing division in Midlothian. Phase one calls for a 15,000-square-foot sales office and administration building.

Phase two calls for an 180,000-square-foot factory at Railport. The office and manufacturing facility are expected to create about 100 jobs.

“The Midlothian economy has lacked light manufacturing and this has been a need in our community to help us diversify,” Whatley said. “Burlingame manufactures concrete roofing tile that are gaining in popularity across the Metroplex. By (Burlingame) coming to Midlothian the dollars that have gone out of state to purchase this product will now stay in the state and in our community.”

Staples praised Midlothian for putting together a team and proposal that landed the Agriculture Department grant.

“This will undoubtedly give a boost to Midlothian and support economic development for the area,” Staples said. “It’s an example of good business and great partnerships at work for rural Texas.”

Staples said the Texas Department of Agriculture prides itself with providing these grants to rural communities, but he said the satisfaction rests on the local economic development team.

“These kinds of things don’t just happen by chance,” he said. “The real work happened at the local level. Midlothian should be very proud of the team they put together and the way they rolled up their sleeves to secure this grant.”

The Texas Capital Fund, part of the federal Community Development Block Grant program, was the pocket the money was pulled from. The fund provides about $10.5 million in competitive awards each year to boost the economic development of small Texas cities and counties.