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State lends funds for tactical training facility

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state Economic Development Authority on Thursday gave initial approval to a $5 million loan that will allow Old Fields-based TenX Group LLC to buy a 691-acre tactical training complex in Hardy County.

TenX, founded in 2011, is a private company that offers training services and support to special operations forces and national intelligence agencies.

The seven-employee company plans to buy the former Moorefield Training Center, located near Old Fields in Hardy County. Through the acquisition, the company hopes to expand to employ 40 people over the next 3 years.

TenX is changing the name of the facility to the Panthera Training Center.

Located about 2 hours away from Washington, the company will offer tactical and special operations training to various agencies, including the U.S. military, State Department, law enforcement and private security contractors.

According to the company's website, the facility will offer training in several areas, including firearms, driving and convoy operations, specialized urban warfare and closed quarter battle tactics, executive protection and survivability training.

The 691-acre training ground features more than 16 miles of paved and off-road vehicle training, nine firing ranges, a demolition explosives range, personnel obstacle course, mock town setup, barracks and several classrooms with capacities varying from 12 to 120 people.

Unlike other training facilities, the Panthera center also offers unrestricted nighttime weapons firing ranges.

The preliminary approval granted Thursday begins the loan process.The authority will still have to grant final approval at a later date.

The $5 million, fixed-rate loan will be paid back over a term of 15 years. The interest rate on the loan will be set at the its closing and will be based on the U.S. Treasury 20-year bond rate plus 75 basis points.

In addition to the TenX loan, the authority also granted initial approval to a 15-year, $140,000 loan to Vintec Manufacturing in Dixie.

The machine shop, which opened in 2000 and currently employs four workers, is planning to use the funds to purchase equipment and a new building in the town of Poe in Nicholas County.

The interest rate on the loan, made through the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Title IX loan program, is required to be fixed at closing based on the Wall Street Journal's published prime rate, minus 4 percentage points.

The loan program requires a 4 percent minimum loan rate and, since interest rates are historically low right now, the company's loan will likely end up being 4 percent at closing.

Also on Thursday, state Economic Development Authority Executive Director David Warner announced the agency's borrowing rate, set through the state Board of Treasury Investments, has slightly increased for the coming year.

The rate, which tracks close to the Federal Reserve's federal funds rate, will go up incrementally from 0.17 to 0.18 percent for the next fiscal year.

The low borrowing rate will translate into continued low interest rates on state development loans for the next year.

"With the interest rate climate as it is, we continue to have favorable borrowing terms for our biggest loan programs," Warner said.

The rate is adjusted annually, so even if the Fed raises rates over the next 12 months, the state authority will not see a rate change until the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Contact writer Jared Hunt at business@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.

 


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