A few weeks ago, Magnolia Marketplace spent most of a Friday chasing a rumor that Gov. Haley Barbour was set to call a special session for Aug. 13, in which lawmakers would consider incentive packages for an economic development project.
The rumor turned out to be partially right.
In a press release that landed in our inbox minutes ago, Barbour confirmed that he will summon the Legislature to the Capitol next Friday, Aug. 27, to consider an inventive package for a $500 million project.
According to the release, whatever company is asking for the incentives will have locations across the state, and will provide $85 million in wages and direct purchases and supply 1,000 direct and indirect jobs through the company and its suppliers.
“Additional information about the company will be released at a later date,” the release read.
When we were first tracking the rumor, speculation ranged from a project in the Delta to one in Meridian. Theoretically, if the company will have multiple locations in the state, both of those regions could be involved. Or neither of them.
Here’s the press release from Barbour’s office:
JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour today announced a special session at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27, to consider an incentive package for a $500 million economic development project with locations around the state.
The project will bring $85 million in wages and direct Mississippi purchases, as well as 1,000 direct and indirect jobs through the company and the local suppliers. Additional information about the company will be released at a later date.
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Dan Turner, Barbour’s press secretary, to ask one or two follow-up questions.
The first and most obvious: What’s the name of the company? Turner didn’t blink. “No comment,” he said. No surprise there. Barbour is the master at keeping things close to the vest until he — and only he — is ready to make it official. “We’re sticking to that policy,” Turner said.
Turner did offer somewhat of a hint about what kind of jobs the project will bring. “I think this one is tailor-made as far as jobs that have a long-range future in Mississippi.”
Since he’s been in office, Barbour has said advanced manufacturing jobs are what suits Mississippi best, things like Toyota and aerospace and the steel plants that have cropped up in the Golden Triangle. Turner’s “long-range future” description of this latest deal sure sounds like that.