County to consider incentive for Sanderson Farms


The county is starting the paperwork process to help Sanderson Farms with infrastructure through a statewide grant.

On Tuesday, the Smith County Commissioners Court will consider advertising for proposals for qualified administrative services, architects and engineers to help with a grant application aimed at providing infrastructure to Sanderson Farms.

The discussion will happen at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Smith County Courthouses Annex building, 200 E. Ferguson St. The meeting is open to the public.

The chicken giant announced this month that it was looking at three locations in Smith and Wood counties to bring its operations. That includes a poultry processing plant, a hatchery and a feed mill and rail yard. The $200 million project could bring as many as 1,700 jobs to East Texas.

County Judge Nathaniel Moran said the county hopes to apply for a Texas Capital Fund public infrastructure project, which is a federal grant administered through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The grant would pay for some kind of infrastructure, but the company and the county have not outlined exactly what is needed. Examples include building water lines, roads, sewer mains or high-speed Internet capabilities to the area where Sanderson plans to build.

Moran said he doesn't expect county funds to be tied to the grant.

"It's for only public infrastructure," Moran said "It has to be a public infrastructure deal that can assist a business."

The grant process requires that the professionals be lined up prior to submitting an application. Those have to be selected through a competitive process. That means the county and company have time to decide exactly what infrastructure to put in the grant application.

Moran said the application is due in the summer, and the winning projects will be announced in the fall.

Receiving the funds is not guaranteed.

In other business:

- Commissioners will consider awarding a finalized contract with Burns Commercial Properties, LLC for real estate brokerage services to potentially sell the old Carlton Hotel. The firm was selected because of its qualifications, and then entered into contract negotiations.

- The appointment of a deputy reserve constable in Precinct 5 will be considered.

- Commissioners will consider accepting the completion documents for drainage improvements made to County Road 419 and County Road 431.

- Final completion documents will also be considered for the completion of road improvements made to County Road 2221, or East Shores Estates – West.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph will attend the meeting. For updates as they happen follow @TMTFaith on Twitter.


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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.