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Video: Lawmakers Pass Economic Incentives Package For Clay County

JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s a one deal in the House and Senate. Lawmakers overwhelmingly agreed on an incentives package with Yokohama Rubber Company. The $1.2 billion investment will bring hundreds of jobs to the golden triangle.

The Mississippi State Capitol was filled with hundreds of citizens from West Point and Clay County Friday who wanted to hear in person about the major industry coming to their hometown. Shane Lamkin’s family lived in West Point when Bryan Foods closed its doors. When he heard lawmakers were going to vote to bring Yokohama Tire Company to West Point, he knew he had to make the trip.

“My wife’s family is from there. I’m originally not from there. My wife is and a lot of her family worked at Bryan Foods and it shut down and the trickle effect is other businesses have shrunk since then. So, it’s gonna be a very exciting time for the community of Clay County,” said Lamkin.

The Senate unanimously voted for the deal. The House voted overwhelmingly for the package with only 2 opposing.

“Phase 1 is a 500 job,  $300 million project. That would be in West Point, Mississippi. We’ll have the opportunity to go to the company and seal the deal. Hopefully that will happen in the next week or so in the coming days,” said Brent Christensen, Executive Director for the Mississippi Development Authority.

The company will make tires for trucks and buses. State Legislative incentives will include $9.5 million for land, $48 million for infrastructure, site preparations, rail and $11.75 million for a training center. Joe Higgins, CEO of Golden Triangle Link says it’s a win-win for the entire community.

“It will share the Ad Valorem fee in lieu taxes: city, county and the schools. Schools, we anticipate about $950,000 and the city and county will split $850,000 to $860,000,” said Higgins.

If everything goes according to plan, the project can add 2,000 jobs by the end of the 4th phase. Democratic State Representative Angela Turner represents Clay County and says it’s a good day for the citizens in her district.

“There are still some individuals who have been in and out of jobs. This opportunity, I think, provides them with hope as well. So it’s been hard. But I think that we will see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Senator Turner.

And for the hundreds of residents who made the trip down to the Capital City, they’re proud to see their area leading a major company that will move their economy in the right direction.

“I moved back home a few years ago and I noticed how things were during the time I was gone and now coming back, it’s nice to see things starting to pick back up,” said West Point resident Carl Carter.

Yokohama expects to begin construction this September. Production will begin October 2015.