Paris Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors recognized outgoing member Shay Bills, seated new board members Mark Homer and Erik Roddy and elected officers at a Tuesday meeting.

“Shay, I just want to personally tell you how much we appreciate your hard work and dedication to this board,” Chairman Josh Bray said before executive director Maureen Hammond presented Bills with an appreciation plaque. “Not only to this board but to this community in making Paris a better place to live and raise our families.

In making the presentation, Hammond said Bills played a decisive role in her coming to Paris last summer to accept the executive director position.

“You are one of the main reasons I am here, and it’s been a pleasure working with you,” Hammond said. “On behalf of the board, thank you for your passion and service to the growth and development of Paris.”

During her three-year term, Bills served as vice chairman.

Directors elected Bray by acclamation to serve as chairman for a second year and unanimously named Curtis Fendley as vice chairman and Chase Coleman as secretary/treasurer.

Presenting the financial report for June, Hammond noted that financials show revenue ahead of projections at $1.4 million for the year with expenses coming in under expectations. Cash is sitting at roughly $2 million.

In giving a report from the Land Committee, Hammond reported environmental studies on 90 acres came in clear of any issue, which completes studies on all land owned by the organization.

“That’s good news,” Hammond said. “We are now that much closer in getting all of our land sites ready.”

In giving a Marketing Committee report, Hammond said the committee is working with the city and chamber on brand identity. She requested and received board approval to move forward with work on brand identity and to seek requests for proposals to revamp the PEDC website.

During a report about American Spiralweld Pipe Co. and Metro Gate Manufacturing, Hammond noted that American Spiralweld now employs 80 workers with expectations of employing 100 by the end of the year. According to a master operating agreement, PEDC is to incentivize jobs above 60 up to 100 at a cost of $1 million. Hammond reported Metro Gate has employed 15 new workers and will be eligible to apply for up to $120,000 in job creation incentives beginning in October. The job incentive agreement is for up to 40 new jobs created over a five-year period at a minimum $18 an hour plus benefits.

The board took no action after an executive session during which directors were to discuss business prospects known as projects Highway, Iron Horse, Rocket X, Fast Track and Mustang.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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