By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Commissioners court gave the final go-ahead to Lincoln Lumber to move forward with their construction during a Tuesday morning meeting on April 13.
Lincoln Lumber LLC is based in Conroe and the company announced plans last year to build a new sawmill on a property they own at 215 W. Austin Street in Crockett. The project will cost over $11 million and will add a minimum of 20 jobs to the Houston County economy.
A public hearing was held at the start of the Commissioners Court docket concerning tax abatements. During the course of the hearing, it was determined a reinvestment zone designation was not necessary and the tax abatement agreement between the county and Lincoln Lumber should be terminated. In its stead, the commissioners entered into a tax abatement agreement with the city of Crockett, which had previously approved a similar tax abatement agreement with the company.
The abatement is set to begin in 2022 and will be for 100 percent that year. In 2023, the abatement will be for 80 percent; in 2024 the abatement will be for 70 percent; in 2025, the abatement will be for 60 percent and in 2026, the abatement will be for 50 percent.
The agreement states, “This abatement shall be for five years, beginning Jan. 1, 2022. In no event shall the abatement continue after Dec. 31, 2026.”
Construction on the project has already started.
In other matters brought before the court:
- The commissioners approved the minutes from previous meetings.
- Budget amendments were approved by the court.
- The payment of bills and expenses incurred by the county, were approved.
- The Houston County Environmental and Community Service Reports were received as information by the court.
- The court approved salaries for new and/or transfer employees.
- Approval was given for retail fireworks permit holders to sell fireworks in celebration of San Jacinto Day and Memorial Day.
- The Fiscal Year 2020 Houston County Appraisal District Audit was accepted as information by the court.
- Furniture items from Sam Houston State University were accepted as a donation by the commissioners.