In a manner of speaking, Smith County Commissioners “paved’’ the way for another tax abatement for John Soules Foods during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 29.
The abatement for John Soules Foods – located on Farm to Market Road 14 southeast of Lindale – coincided with backing a proposal for some road work near the company’s headquarters.
Commissioners unanimously OK’d the abatement for $346,500 which will cover property taxes for the next five years.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Terry Phillips noted the widening of FM 14 near the John Soules facility will also help the traffic flow from Interstate 20 and assist Sanderson Farms – in the midst of building a large chicken processing facility in Lindale, Mineola and Winona.
One of Sanderson’s facilities is to be located at I-20 and FM 2015 and will be convenient to the John Soules plant.
Smith County, the city of Lindale, Tyler Junior College and Smith County Emergency Services District No. 1 also approved tax abatement for Sanderson to the tune of $1.2 million over a 10-year period.
In December, John Soules’ officials announced an investment of $21 million in the form of an addition to the production line, which would create 50 new jobs.
The new production line is scheduled to be in operation later in 2018. John Soules employs more than 600 people.
Other abatements were approved for John Soules in 2004 and 2014.
The road work calls for a 15 mile portion of FM 14 near the facility to be widened from Loop 323 to U.S. Highway 80 in Hawkins.
In the resolution, commissioners asked for priority for the project from the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization as well as the Texas Department of Transportation, which maintains roadways in East Texas.