By CARL SMITH
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors will hear a tax abatement request from a representative of Main Street Forest Products at its 9 a.m. Monday meeting at the county courthouse.
In August, Maben-based Main Street Forest Products announced plans to partner with a secondary company, Main Street Casual Living, to produce upholstered furniture and create roughly 62 new jobs. Maben Mayor Larry Pruitt said in December 75-80 percent of these jobs will be created under Main Street Casual Living.
“We got the word that they’re about to start hiring in about 30 days,” Pruitt said at the end of December. “They did (already) hire some experienced people who have already built some furniture … so they can do some training for the new (employees).”
MSFP operations manager Bob Klimek approached the board of supervisors in regard to the tax abatement request in August for the new project. Board Attorney Jack Brown was absent from the meeting, and supervisors decided to take the matter under consideration.
If granted, a tax abatement would waive ad valorem requirements but not school levies. In August, supervisors said the county could grant Main Street Forest Products a five-year abatement, review the agreement after it expires and then choose to grant another waiver if deemed beneficial to the county.
In connection with MSFP’s expansion, the city of Maben also applied for a grant to resurface Maben Industrial Park Road to service new industries in the city.
In other board business, supervisors could also approve a proposal seeking architects for courthouse renovations.
The county recently received an approximate $285,000 grant for repairs, County Administrator Don Posey said, and could use that money to add additional basement storage capacity, provide general improvements — flooring, painting and bathroom compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act — and resurface and restripe the facility’s rear parking area.