Early Mayor Robert Mangrum presented his state of city to more than 30 citizens and business owners Friday inside Humpty Pete’s.

Mangrum noted growth in virtually all sectors of the economy with many businesses expanding services, relocating or in the process of constructing a new location.

During his presentation, Mangrum reported 2017 revenues were approximately $7 million, a $2 million increase from 2016 and with more businesses coming to early he believes 2018 will be even higher. He reported a $5 million increase in property tax revenue and $1.4 million in sales tax revenue.

“That’s a 14 percent increase over 2016,” Mangrum said. “You know as members of the chamber, business is good. Other parts of the country may not be great, but we are blessed.”

Early added 250 jobs in between 2015 and 2017 with much of those coming from Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, Early’s largest employer, who added 167 in the last three quarters of 2017. With the Hobby Lobby at the Heartland Mall set to open in August, another 50 full-time and part-time jobs are expected to go on the rolls, as well as jobs coming with the opening of a Burger King.

“[Solaris] went from 60 to 227 employees in those three quarters,” Mangrum said. “They’re planning on 75 more jobs as a result of new developments in Early. We have lots of things going for us. A lot more than some people think when they look at rural Texas.”

In regards to capital improvements, McDonald Park will add a basketball court and potentially a sound garden, as part of a project by the Early High School Team Leadership Program. Early’s events center is set to complete sometime in September. 

In regards to city infrastructure, Mangrum said new wastewater treatment center should go online in April. Instead of recirculating the treated water into a local lake or river, Mangrum said the treated water would go to water city operated hay fields.

“It goes online sometime in April of this year,” Mangrum said. “The system allows us the opportunity to create our own wastewater so we’re not sending our water and money to the city of Brownwood anymore.

“It’s not a discharge system. No, we’re not discharging the wastewater into the bayou. We will use the water to irrigate hay fields and we will sell the hay for revenue as well.”