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Sasol is sweetening the deal as it asks for zoning changes required to build a $21 billion industrial expansion in the Mossville area. The company is offering to pay off a debt, improve water distribution lines and help extend a major public road.
Red and green signs are all around Mossville to advertise a big meeting before the Calcasieu Planning and Zoning board. The green signs explain Sasol is seeking zoning changes to heavy industrial. The red signs identify public roads the company wants abandoned-- because they would be in the middle of the 3000 acre industrial complex. As part of the deal the company plans to fund some major public improvements.
"What the development agreement does for the people is it commits Sasol to do upgrades in the area of transportation, in the area of drinking water, in the area of building a north south road, guaranteeing people access to cemeteries in the area," said Mike Hayes of Sasol.
The north south road would likely be an extension of Coach Williams Drive from Old Spanish Trail to Houston River Road toward which Sasol would contribute up to $10 million.
The zoning board considers the proposal first. Then it goes to the Calcasieu Police Jury for final action.
The project is in Juror Hal McMillin's district. He favors the $21 billion development. But....
"Although I feel it's very good you've got to reserve the right to change your mind at any point in time when you're an elected official. I feel strongly that we need this but that's why I'm elected to this position to keep an open mind and I will listen to all the people and their comments," said McMillin.
The company also agrees to pay off $335,000 in debt the Mossville Waterworks District now owes and improve water distribution lines. McMillin says the Mossville District, which will be dissolved, will tie into Westlake's system.
"It's a matter of just opening a valve once we've got all our T's crossed and I's dotted," said McMillin.
Interested citizens may wish to intend two big public meetings next week. The first is the Calcasieu Planning and Zoning Board at 5:30 Tuesday and then the Calcasieu Police Jury takes final action at 5:30 PM Thursday.
For a link to the draft development agreement between Sasol and the Calcasieu police jury, click here. To check out the zoning board agenda click here. Look for the web extras featuring more of our interviews with Hal McMillin and Mike Hayes.
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