Alice Texas doesn't sit in the fairway of the Eagle Ford Shale, but it sure seems to be benefiting. A $6 million sales tax surplus was realized over the past year. The city budgeted income of $650,000 per month and only one month came in under $1,000,000. Weatherford, whose office had shrunk over several years, has grown from 27 to over 300 employees in three short years. An Alice based frack sand company, SandPro, has over 400 employees in the state. For reference, Alice's population is somewhere around 20,000. Companies with hundreds of employees make a big impact.
While not in the middle of development, the city is positioned centrally from east to west and the existing presence of the oil industry before the Eagle Ford boom, makes it an easy location for distribution and offices.
SandPro trucking started two years ago with three trucks hauling sand to the oil field, and four employees; today it has 350 trucks and more than 400 employees around the state.
SandPro and other companies that have brought jobs, money and people to Alice since 2009 illustrate the remarkable ripple effect of the drilling frenzy on towns not directly over the Eagle Ford Shale. The closest producing Eagle Ford well is about 40 miles away, according to a Texas Railroad Commission map.
You wouldn't know it judging by the city's sales taxes. For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, Alice budgeted $650,000 a month in sales tax revenue. Only one month came in under $1 million, giving the city a $6 million surplus, City Manager Ray De Los Santos said.