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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 4:30 am

LAMPASAS — Several businesses are slated to visit Central Texas and Lampasas this spring, according to City Manager Finley deGraffenried.

He and city councilman Christian Toups, along with several local businessmen, attended an economic development conference in December.

City officials visited with about 35 conference attendees in Merced, Calif., slightly less than the 50 or 60 businesses officials originally hoped to connect with, deGraffenried said.

“We didn’t come in there and say we have a big bag of money that we want to give you,” he said, recapping the conference to the city council Monday, “But we talked about, primarily, the things that we think are important in terms of doing business in Lampasas and Central Texas.”

Compared to California, he said, Texas’ economic climate, limited regulations, lower tax burdens and higher accessibility to officials make the region a good place to develop.

The area’s good schools and relatively low crime rate help as well.

“We didn’t come out there with anything earth shattering other than we are here, we are here to talk to you. Texas is a good place to do business and Lampasas is a particularly good place to do business,” he said.

The news comes in the midst of Lampasas’ search for an economic development director, a position the city is currently interviewing for and hopes to fill by the end of January.

Lampasas already lured a California-based business to the area.

In November, Mike Jones, owner of a full-service crane and heavy equipment company based out of Merced, said he would move his company to Lampasas in 2014. The move came as a result of California’s increasing taxes and regulations, he said.

Jones said he plans to hire 10-15 people once his business is settled.

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