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Mississippi sawmill announces $40M expansion, 45 jobs

A Mississippi sawmill will invest $40 million to increase production by 50 percent, with plans to hire 45 more workers.

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 12:59 PM

NEWTON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi sawmill will invest $40 million to increase production by 50 percent, with plans to hire 45 more workers.

Michigan-based Biewer Lumber announced the expansion Tuesday at its Newton sawmill, a little more than a year after the company opened the facility. The expansion is projected to be complete by late 2019, bringing the total number of employees to 170.

CEO Tim Biewer says increasing demand is driving the move. The sawmill's capacity will expand from 200 million to more than 300 million board-feet per year. That additional production will create spinoff activity among loggers and truckers, with wood demand rising by 400,000 tons (360,000 metric tons) per year.

Mid-Mississippi Development District Executive Director Newt Ishee says local officials are granting an agreement that will cut property taxes by two-thirds for 10 years. Such a deal is only available to a company investing more than $60 million, but Ishee says officials have determined that Biewer should be eligible because it invested $85 million before opening the mill in April 2017. The threshold to qualify for the big tax break used to be an investment of $100 million until the Legislature lowered it this year.

Ishee was away from his office Wednesday and couldn't immediately say how much the tax break would be worth. Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Tammy Craft said Biewer would save $17.3 million over 10 years from an industrial-property-tax exemption on the original investment and expansion, but those breaks are less lucrative. The company is also projected to save $624,000 over 10 years on inventory-tax exemptions from the original investment and expansion.

Craft said Biewer will pay an average salary of $35,000 per year, which she said would enable the company to get rebates on worker income taxes.

Biewer could get cash rebates of more than $600,000 over 10 years on workers hired in the expansion. The company may collect around $1.75 million in rebates from workers hired in the initial investment.

The Mississippi Development Authority is designating $582,000 in federal community development money to pay for public road improvements to aid the project. The city of Newton will provide a $58,000 match for that amount.

Construction is scheduled to begin in March and production is scheduled to begin in November 2019. The company has four years to hire the additional workers under an agreement with the state.

Biewer has four other sawmills in Michigan and Wisconsin, plus treating facilities in Michigan, Illinois and New York.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848137

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164052005
Mobile743681384
Madison53497738
Shelby38435371
Baldwin38195589
Tuscaloosa36152644
Montgomery34562782
Lee25655264
Calhoun22630520
Morgan22530411
Etowah20069520
Marshall18846318
Houston17777426
St. Clair16958359
Limestone16195220
Cullman16157306
Elmore15940295
Lauderdale15069307
Talladega14260302
DeKalb13083271
Walker12168380
Blount10779193
Autauga10560157
Jackson10214196
Coffee9435192
Colbert9366210
Dale9044192
Tallapoosa7285202
Russell710065
Chilton7090170
Covington6969197
Escambia6967144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5801142
Marion5437132
Dallas5302210
Pike5129109
Clarke485786
Lawrence4850130
Winston4793110
Geneva4655136
Bibb435795
Barbour370680
Butler3444101
Marengo342993
Monroe338366
Randolph337867
Pickens334890
Fayette331785
Henry321166
Cherokee320364
Hale319189
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252969
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141840
Sumter139841
Greene130545
Choctaw94428
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