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: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 569131

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson831881584
Mobile45534855
Madison36714532
Tuscaloosa26717465
Shelby26527255
Montgomery25707624
Baldwin23668325
Lee16753181
Calhoun15107332
Morgan14916289
Etowah14637368
Marshall12786235
Houston11462292
Elmore10636217
St. Clair10500251
Limestone10468158
Cullman10236204
Lauderdale9968253
DeKalb9278191
Talladega8721187
Walker7581286
Autauga7402113
Jackson7263117
Blount7182139
Colbert6577142
Coffee6024131
Dale5307117
Russell465542
Chilton4630117
Covington4555125
Franklin442081
Tallapoosa4372157
Escambia419182
Chambers3842125
Dallas3687163
Clarke364262
Marion3378106
Pike324279
Lawrence3188101
Winston290772
Bibb279565
Geneva270983
Marengo258367
Barbour243161
Pickens239162
Butler235672
Hale231678
Fayette224364
Henry204845
Randolph194244
Cherokee193848
Monroe191841
Washington176239
Macon167252
Crenshaw163958
Clay162159
Cleburne159045
Lamar149438
Lowndes144254
Wilcox129131
Bullock125642
Conecuh118030
Coosa115829
Perry109728
Sumter108032
Greene97336
Choctaw63825
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