OSCEOLA, Ark. — U.S. Steel is working on a $3 billion dollar expansion at the Big River Steel Plant, creating a prospect of new jobs and a boost in the economy.
Osceola Mayor Sally Wilson says the big news came Tuesday after months of promoting what this Mississippi County community has to offer.
“This is very exciting for the community,” Wilson said. “I think it’s safe to say that Osceola has won the lottery. We were one of 14 states and 40 sites that were being considered for this very large expansion of Big River Steel in Osceola.”
The city looks to reap the benefits of a $3 billion expansion U.S. Steel will make at it’s Big River Steel Mill south of Osceola.
“I’ve seen it published 900 jobs with an average salary of over $100,000 per salary,” Mayor Wilson said.
Mayor Wilson also said the city agreed to work toward establishing a day care center as well as creating new housing.
“We’ve been talking with house developers, so hopefully we will have several, quite a few housing starts, a couple of new subdivisions,” she said.
Ken Kennemore is a Real Estate agent in Osceola who believes an incentive offered by the county called “Work Here, Live Here” will make buying a new home hard to pass up.
“On the construction, it’s anywhere between $200,000-500,000 homes they’ll give you a ten percent loan that is forgiven if you stay in the job for three years and stay in your house,” Kennemore said.
The expansion project and influx of jobs and money will be music to the ears of small business owners. Jeanne Bowman manages Hubbard and Hoke Furniture and is excited about the expansion.
“I think it will bring in people to buy furniture,” Bowman said. “There’s going to be renting houses and buying houses here, and I just think it will be a really good prosperous thing for Osceola, Arkansas.”
Groundbreaking is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022 with the project completed and operational in 2024.