Pearland City Council at its July 11 regular meeting approved a conditional use permit in a 5-1 vote that allows manufacturing, fabrication, processing and assembly within the mixed-use science and technology district at the Lower Kirby District to accommodate the construction of three industrial buildings for S+S Industries.
“We want to bring jobs,” S+S Industries Owner Greg Andrews said. “We want to be a good business. This would be a second-generation family business to Pearland. We think this is an ideal part for us, and this really matches our customer base.”
S+S Industries specializes in the plating and coating industry for the oilfield, power generation and automotive industries, and the company has customers that include Chevron, ExxonMobil, Tesla, Ford and other companies, Andrews said.
If the company relocates to Pearland from its current location at 5614 Nunn St., Houston, it expects to bring 250 jobs ranging from labor work, machine operators, equipment operators, office work, engineer work, robotics operators, and shipping and receiving that pay from $15 an hour to north of $30 an hour, Andrews said. There was no timeline shared on when the new facilities would be completed at the meeting.
The conditional use permit also passed with three city staff recommendations that were unanimously approved by council in an amendment, which were that all the buildings on the property will be developed in same manner to renderings submitted by the applicant; there will be additional vegetative screening along east and north property lines; and any proposed outside storage area shall be screen from view with a masonry screen wall matching the exterior of the buildings.
Despite the conditional use permit’s approval, there was debate among Pearland City Council about the company’s effects on the city. The biggest effect council focused on was Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements that would make Pearland establish a pretreatment program if S+S Industries opened its facility within city limits.
The reason for the TCEQ requirements is because the facility would produce an increased amount of waste that will need to be discharged to the city’s Reflection Bay Water Reclamation Facility, Pearland Planning Department Assistant Director Martin Griggs said.
The regulation requirement would also add a cost to the city’s enterprise fund and associated city customer sewer rates, Griggs said. The initial cost of establishing the program will be $720,000 with an annual cost somewhere between $15,000-$20,000, he said. Work would also have to be done at all of the city’s five reclamation facilities.
The $720,000 cost will have to be incurred by Pearland if there is no other source of revenue to cover the expense, Pearland Assistant City Manager Trent Epperson said.
Several council members, including Adrian Hernandez, Joseph Koza and Tony Carbone, asked Matt Buchanan, Pearland Economic Development Corp. president, to see if the PEDC could reach an agreement with S+S Industries to divide the $720,000 cost to implement the TCEQ regulations.
Pearland City Manager Clay Pearson said the city is compliant with TCEQ standards it is required to abide by due the level of industry companies within the city. While the S+S Industries facility would trigger higher regulations, it would also allow for other heavy industrial users to be able to come into the city.
Council Member Jeffrey Barry said he researched S+S Industries and did not find any TCEQ violations. He said he likes that they are bringing employees and jobs to Pearland and could potentially bring more with expansion.
Hernandez was the lone vote against the conditional use permit because he was open to postponement to get questions answered, such as costs that could be incurred by the city to upgrade reclamation facilities and specifics on the company’s day-to-day operations.
“We want to see good industrial users in our community,” Mayor Kevin Cole said. “There is an impact to our water and wastewater system. At the same time, we have some unanswered questions. We want to get those questions asked and answered.”