Polk Co. commissioners approve 10-year tax abatement for proposed OSB plant

Polk Co. commissioners approve 10-year tax abatement for proposed OSB plant
Source: Roy O Martin
Source: Roy O Martin

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - An Alexandria, Louisiana-based company is now one step closer to building its proposed $280 million oriented-strand board plant in the Corrigan area. The proposed plant is expected to employ 160 full-time employees and create 1,854 construction jobs.

Members of the Polk County Commissioners voted on Tuesday morning to approve a 10-year tax abatement for Roy O. Martin's proposed OSB plant

Roy O. Martin III, the president of Roy O. Martin and the owner of Corrigan OSB LLC, made a presentation to the commissioners before the vote. He said once all the plans are approved, the plant could open as early as 2017.

Martin told the commissioners that the construction phase of the project will employ an additional 1,854 people, and the average wage will be $55,000.

"We think it is going to be a big economic boost," Martin said. "[It can be] one of the biggest in many, many years in Polk County."

In addition, the OSB plant will use pulp wood from a 55-mile radius around Corrigan. The plant will also employ 400 loggers and  truckers.

Martin said they will spend $5 million for a plot of land on the southwest corner of US Highway 59 and State Highway 287.

The company has been in talks with the Polk County Economic Development group since Janurary.

The company's president told the Polk County commissioners that construction also depends on approvals from Union Pacific, Corrigan-Camden ISD, Entergy, and Centerpoint Gas.

Pct.3 Commissioner Milton Purvis controls the area where the proposed plant would be built and said he sees nothing but positives from the plant.

"We will all benefit; all of East Texas, not just the Polk County area or the Corrigan area. Trinity County, Angelina County, San Jacinto County, Tyler County," Purvis said. "It will employee people from all over just like our other plants. It's a win-win situation for us all around."

In a previous East Texas News story, Corrigan-Camden ISD Superintendent Sherry Hughes said she couldn't discuss the specifics or even identify the company by name. However, she told KTRE that partnering with business provides opportunities for her students.

"The conversations we've had with them, I think their history speaks for itself," Hughes said. "The partnerships that they have in the communities they currently have industry in speaks volumes for them. I feel like it would be a wonderful opportunities for us to bring to our students to help them be prepared to walk out of high school and be productive at the jobs that are available in their own community."

On Nov. 19, Martin told KTRE that Corrigan is an attractive area for his company because it has a good logging force. He added that the fact that Georgia-Pacific has a plant in the area is a plus as well.

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