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.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
Etowah426551
Houston414834
Morgan412035
DeKalb338829
Elmore320053
St. Clair292542
Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
Fayette57413
Wilcox56712
Conecuh56113
Cleburne5568
Macon53420
Lamar4905
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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