OSCEOLA -- Big River Steel is one step closer to breaking ground in South Mississippi County.
The Osceola City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night which will issue $1.5 billion of industrial revenue Act 9 bonds for the project.
Michele Allgood, an attorney with Mitchell Williams Law in Little Rock, explained to the council the city will not in any way be responsible for paying the money back. This remains true even if there is a company bankruptcy in the future.
The ordinance included a lease agreement, payment in lieu of taxes agreement, and a bond purchase agreement.
Osceola attorney Mike Gibson said the city will take the title of the property and then lease it back to BRS for $1 a year.
The agreement also states BRS will pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years. Gibson noted this will not affect taxes because of the drainage and levee districts.
A public hearing was held prior to the council meeting for public comments. No one from the audience wished to speak.
What's the next step? The Osceola council will hold a special meeting Monday night to consider the issuance of a $2 million revenue bond for infrastructure on the project. These funds, which will be financed through First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas, will be paid back by the city.
Gibson explained these funds will not be issued until BRS investors have contributed $300,000 million.