by Kirby Gibbs
Lufkin, TX (KTRE) - Despite the recent allegations of forgery and tampering against Aspen Power, many Lufkin residents, including Mayor Jack Gorden, say this plant will have a great impact on Lufkin and Angelina County.
The fact that Aspen Power is being investigate for illegal activitiy in the way it obtained its Air Quality Permit is not changing the fact that it could be a major boost to the East Texas economy.
Lufkin Economic Development Director, Jim Wehmeier, told KTRE that, "It's about a 90 million dollar project. It's gonna employ over 100 people with very high wages for our area over double what the area average is for total wages so the economic impact is going to be substantial".
Mayor Gorden says employees of Aspen Power won't be the only one's benefiting from the plant. "It's not just the people that will be working there" Says Gorden. It'll benefit "The support groups, the people working in the forest industry, the people keeping the equipment running, the people selling the equipment, it will cover our whole are as far as jobs.
Wehmeier says Aspen Power is unique from some other jobs in the area. "There are a lot of jobs out there today that don't provide full insurance and any one's that do provide a good insurance package really is good news for our medical industry".
But with the pending air quality case, many are worried about the future of Aspen Power and whether or not it's operation will actually go through. "If it doesn't hold up", wehmeier says, "they're will be substantial money loss and all of the positive impact that would've come in, obviously, that won't happen".