Somervell County commissioners gave the Economic Development board a green light to enter into negotiations with Billings Production, Inc.
The company manufactures robotic dinosaurs that are displayed around the world. Billings is located in McKinney, and has been looking to relocate to Somervell County for some time, according to County Judge Walter Maynard.
The move would mean an estimated 22 new jobs in the area, expanding to 50 over a 10-year period. Maynard said the city could see an increase in sales tax revenue if the deal goes through. The school district and the county would also see an increase.
Billings Production dinosaurs have been displayed at the Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney, The Fort Worth Zoo and the Moody Gardens in Galveston.
The life-size dinosaurs have also been shipped and displayed in Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Florida and California.
The dinosaur displays can be set up outside and some of the smaller creatures can be plugged in and displayed straight out of the box.
Programmers set dinosaur movement to mimic life-like motions, even roaring at passersby. Dino creators and designers closely follow paleontology research and alter dinosaurs as new evidence surfaces.
Commissioners also heard from Glen Rose Mayor Pam Miller, who submitted a letter to the court. She said the letter reflected her opinions and feelings over various, recent disputes.
“Our whole goal is to work together and do what’s best for the citizens,” Miller said.
The court decided not to the take action on the letter, but agreed it was important to move forward.
“I think we’ve all had our say and it’s time to move on,” said Commissioner Mike Ford.
In other business, the court agreed to renew its Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) contract. Somervell County Sheriff Chief Deputy Derrell McCravey said VINE participation was required by the state as part of the law enforcement analysis portal and to be eligible for certain grants.
Through VINE, crime victims can track the status of specific cases and offenders. McCravey said the sheriff’s office also uses the system for their analysis portal.
The Somervell Volunteer Fire Department received two big donations from Quicksilver. The company donated five gas monitors and 40 new fire helmets. Assistant Chief Steve Willis said the department already has one gas monitor, but the five additional monitors will allow more trucks and first responders to assess potential hazards as they arrive to emergency scenes.
Commissioners also approved a 911 maintenance agreement with NCTCOG. Through the agreement, NCTCOG furnishes 911 equipment. A fee collected by phone companies throughout the state funds the program.