Invista, Port of Victoria to each pay $300,000 for road projects

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Nov. 4, 2013 at 5:04 a.m.

Construction will soon be underway on two Victoria County roads now that the projects have secured $600,000 in donations.

Victoria County Commissioners voted Monday to accept $300,000 donations from Invista and the Port of Victoria to rebuild Canal Road and Old Bloomington Road.

Commissioner Danny Garcia said the county will provide labor and contribute about 10 percent of the total cost.

"They already pay taxes, and we're about to get a half-billion on the tax rolls," he said. "The reality is, I don't have the budget to give them the road they needed."

Garcia said a roadway mile, which can carry 30,000 pounds of traffic, costs about $80,000 to rebuild. These roads will carry 80,000 pounds of traffic.

Old Bloomington Road will be expanded 2 feet to become a 26-foot roadway.

County Judge Don Pozzi said he and Garcia would meet with Invista representatives Monday afternoon to go over the project.

"We'll move forward at the earliest possible date," he said.

Invista announced in September it was considering a $500 million expansion, which would create 15 to 25 permanent full-time jobs and more than 400 construction jobs during the project's peak. A final decision on the expansion project is expected early next year.

The company is set to receive an eight-year tax abatement on the investment starting at 90 percent and ending at 45 percent of the investment.

The proposed unit would produce hydrogen for making ammonia, replacing Invista's current manufacturing methods with something more efficient. It also allows the plant to create steam more efficiently than it does now and make its own ammonia at a lower cost than it takes to purchase it.

Amy Hodges, Invista Texas regional public affairs manager, said in a prepared statement that a recent study shows traffic has grown to about 1 million inbound and outbound employees, contractors, delivery trucks and others traveling the roadways annually for access to DuPont, Lyondell, Invista, the Port of Victoria and rural areas in southern Victoria County.

Hodges said the company and the port agreed to support the road improvements financially - on top of the taxes Invista already pays - because of the deteriorated conditions of certain portions of county roads in southern Victoria County and out of concern for the safety of all those who travel them.



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