ESCO adds 70 new jobs


ESCO in Newton has been busy.

The company, which is headquartered in Oregon, has spent about $30 million that has added about 72 employees to its workforce in Newton, bringing its employee total to more than 300 employees.

Andy Rowzee with ESCO addressed the Newton Board of Aldermen last week. He said they had intended to file an ad valorem tax exemption request for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, but he said they missed the deadline for this year.

They were able to get the exemption from the Newton County Board of Supervisors for this year, but they will request it for Newton again in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“We’ve brought in over 95 tons of new equipment to our facility,” Rowzee said.

Board attorney Robert Logan said the city may not have known what has been going on at ESCO because it’s not as easily seen as the construction of the new Biewer Sawmill.

“We’ve been tied up with the Biewer project, and that’s something that the community can see, but what ESCO has been doing is something that you can’t see just driving by,” Logan said. “Certainly, everybody in the community appreciates what you’ve been doing.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved the Municipal Compliance Report.

• Will pay East Central Planning and Development District, Inv. 8, CDBG#1132-15-277-PF-01, in the amount of $2,500 when funds become available.

• Approved a full page ad for The Newton County Appeal, Crossroads Publication in conjunction with the Newton Chamber of Commerce.

• Approved amending the 2016-17 budget to actual expenditures.

• Closed City Hall on Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day.

• Approved to close City Hall on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 and 24, in observance of Thanksgiving Holidays.  City Hall will close on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 2 p. m.

• Approved an insurance quote from Ronnie Blass-FLM Insurance.

• Allowed Ron Davis to pursue a contract with Verizon to allow them to build a new cell tower in downtown Newton.

• Approved up to $1 million in construction loans for the Railway Spur and Access Road projects at Biewer Sawmill.

•  Authorized Mayor Murray Weems to sign contracts with Walters Construction.