The Sherman Economic Development Corporation approved an incentive Wednesday aimed at assisting a Sherman business’ effort to install fire suppression in of its Sherman facilities.


Following a brief executive session, the board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to provide a $50,000 incentive for Presco Polymers aimed at extending a water line that would provide service for the manufacturer’s new indoor sprinkler system.


“I think the city and the company thought they had this worked out,” SEDCO President Kent Sharp said. “The company and the city put in so much money into this, and then came to us to ask for assistance.”


Sharp said the company has been working in recent months to install a fire suppression system in its facility at 1201 E. Pecan St. As a part of the development, officials chose to connect the system to a six-inch water line that runs along East Mulberry.


Sharp said company representatives determined that underground pipelines for the more than 100-year-old building were deemed inadequate for the project and upgrades were installed.


The decision to use the line was made in part based on a data from the city’s public works department from 2017 that found the line would meet the needs of the new system. However, once the system was put in place, it was discovered that the pressure from the pipeline was not enough to adequately pressurize the system.


To date, Presco as invested $190,000 in the project. Upon further study, a nearby 10-inch water line along East Pecan would fit the needs of the project. However, in order to tap into the line, it would need to be extended, with a price tag of about $50,000.


This represents the second incentive that area economic developers have approved incentives related to fire suppression in the past week. Last Thursday, the Denison Development Alliance voted to approve allocating $100,000 to providing matching grants for downtown businesses for the installation of fire suppression systems in downtown Denison.


Denison representatives said the program was directly inspired by the fire on Oct. 9, 2019 that destroyed three buildings in downtown Denison.


For his part, Kent Sharp said Sherman businesses have not shown a strong interest in the systems since the fire, but said that downtown utilities, including water pressure, has been a recurring topic.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.