LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – More than 500 jobs paying an average $75,000 a year are coming to Mississippi County.
Big River Steel, LLC Tuesday announced
plans to build a more than $1 billion steel mill. Before any ground is broken, though, Big River Steel is waiting for state lawmakers to authorize $125 million in general obligation bonds.
The bonds would be issued under Amendment 82. Passed in the November 2004 general election, it allows the state legislature to approve up to 5 percent of the state's general revenue budget to be used for bonding of super economic development projects. If approved, this would be the first time Amendment 82 has been triggered.
John Correnti is Big River Steel's chief executive officer and heads a group of investors backing the project.
"Having lived in Arkansas for over 20 years and having been
involved in building and operating two other world class steel mills in the
state, I know first-hand that the quality of the work force in Arkansas is
outstanding and well suited for the high-paying jobs we intend to create," said
Correnti. "Arkansas's geographic location in the heart of the
markets we intend to serve, the state's well-developed transportation
infrastructure as well as the availability of reliable electrical power and the
‘can do attitude' of the government officials in Little Rock, Mississippi
County and Osceola make Arkansas a great place for Big River Steel to make its
Big River will produce steel for the automotive, oil and gas and electrical energy industries. Construction of the mill will take approximately 20 months from ground breaking which is expected later this year.
The $125 million generated by the sale of the bonds will be used as follows:
Once Beebe refers the project to the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the legislature will have 20 working days to conduct its own independent economic impact study. The legislation will then work its way through the committee process after which a vote of both houses of the legislature will be taken.
All employment inquiries should be made to the Blytheville Office of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, P.O. Box 1409, Blytheville, Arkansas 72316. Phone 870-762-2035.
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