LAMPASAS — After 25 years of continuous, out-of-state operations, a full-service crane and heavy equipment company is moving to Lampasas from California.

Although it has yet to take possession of a permanent location, company owner and president Mike Jones said the wheels are in motion to move his operation to Central Texas under a new name, Lampasas Trucking & Ready Mix.

“For 25 years, our company has grown into five separate divisions, but we’re only going to bring three of those to Texas,” Jones said. “These divisions will include a crane and heavy equipment operation, as well as a cement division.”

Lampasas City Manager Finley deGraffenried said the business does crane work, trucking and some aggregate work.

“They’re looking to relocate and have their base of operations in Lampasas as opposed to Merced, Calif,” deGraddenried said.

Jones said it was difficult to say goodbye to employees who won’t be relocating to Texas, but the family-owned operation hopes to continue the personal experience and commitment they make to their employees and customers.

“We’re California natives, but they’re taxing and regulating everybody out of business,” Jones said.

“In our crane business, we were constantly taking our equipment and going either to Texas, North Dakota or South Dakota, and moving to Texas sounded almost too good to be true.”

Earlier this year, Jones and some of his key staff members attended a one-day workshop in the Merced-Fresno, Calif., area. The event was attended by Gov. Rick Perry.

Jones said he talked to Perry, who gave his company a personal invitation to relocate to Texas.

“We started researching different areas, and we’ve met the best people in the Lampasas area who continue to help us, from city officials to our Realtor,” Jones said. “I think this area has so much potential. I call it a diamond in the rough.”

Jones said he expects the business to be established and operating in Lampasas by the beginning of 2014. He plans to hire a crew of 10 to 15 people.

DeGraffenried touted the economic advantages the new company will provide.

“Every job counts, and we think they’ll be able to provide some services in this area that, quite frankly, people are having to call for out of Waco, and in some cases West Texas, to get certain crane services done,” he said.

The city is trying to help the company find a temporary, and ultimately permanent, location.

“We may have identified a temporary location for them, but I don’t think they’re ready to announce anything in terms of a permanent business location yet,” deGraffenried said.

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