Maben project could add 60 jobs

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

The proposed expansion of a Maben industry could create more than 60 new jobs, according to Mayor Larry Pruitt.

He confirmed that plans are in the works for Main Street Forest Products to partner with a secondary company, Main Street Casual Living, to produce upholstered furniture products.

The Starkville Daily News reported Sunday that MSFP Operations Manager Bob Klimek met with the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 20 to request a tax abatement for the new project.

The board took the matter under consideration. A tax abatement would waive ad valorem requirements but not school levies. Board President Marvell Howard said the board could grant a five-year abatement, review the agreement after it expires and then choose to grant another waiver if deemed beneficial to Oktibbeha County, according to the article.

The SDN also reported that Oktibbeha County Economic Development Agency President Jack Wallace confirmed his organization pledged $53,000 toward a development package to assist in job expansion.

Klimek said plans call for the creation of roughly 62 new jobs within two phases in the coming months, the article stated, and seven to 10 jobs could develop within MSFP itself. He said the company has already received close to 500 job applications for the expansion.

Pruitt said plans are also in the works to secure state funding to improve the access road in Maben Industrial Park off Highway 15, where MSFP is located, to handle extra heavy traffic-shipping. This would include drainage improvements and asphalting the road.

Maben Forest Products has served the Maben area for more than five years with professional lumber and building supplies, according to its website. Pruitt said the furniture would be manufactured in a separate building.

“Hopefully, maybe things will grow and we hope they can expand more; that’s my wish,” Pruitt said. “We’re happy and blessed in times like these to have industries looking at Maben.”