Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

December 11, 2012

Pipeline project an economic boon for East Texas

JACKSONVILLE — A pipeline that will ultimately bring crude oil from the Canadian border to the Texas Gulf Coast might only shoot through small areas of Cherokee County, but the potential economic pay-off will be huge, say local leaders and businessmen.

An estimated 80 percent of the crews working on the 485-mile long crude oil pipeline that originates in Cushing, Okla., will lodge, eat and shop locally while they construct the conduit, said Jim Prescott, a senior public affairs and communications management consultant working with TransCanada Keystone Project, of which the Gulf Coast Project is a component.

“They're buying fuel and shopping at the local WalMart; they're renting sites at RV parks for their campers,” he said. “They're coming from all around to lay the pipeline into the ground.”

County Judge Chris Davis calls it a “morale booster” seeing trucks bearing equipment traveling county thoroughfares as workers go to their job sites along the pipeline's route.

“I am excited about it coming in, because we have people living and eating and shopping and possibly worshiping here,” the judge said. “Maybe this economic boost won't last long, but we're happy for it to be here while it is. Because anytime I see business here, I'm proud – I want us to be a business-friendly county.”

Davis said he's encountered workers as they shop and eat in local businesses, pointing out that “someone's making money, and we're going to get tax base out of this, even from the protesters, because I'm sure they're shopping and buying stuff, too.”

Cherokee County has a one-half (0.5) percent taxable purchase rate that helps alleviate taxpayers' burden by allowing them to pay less on their annual tax bill assessed by the county, with funds going into the county's budget for general operating expenses.

“I'm sure these workers are stopping at our convenience stores and eating at our restaurants, even staying at RV parks throughout our county. And there are a lot of law enforcement officials who are getting to work security detail” for TransCanada, which in turn, is spent by residents at local businesses, thus creating a secondary impact, Davis said.

Larry St. Pierre agreed.

The Country Estates RV Park and Campgrounds owner said his 42-lot property, located at 1639 W. 6th Street in Rusk, near Rusk State Park, usually sees good business from work crews assigned to the area.

“We had a gas pipeline crew staying here three or four years ago, and there have been guys working on the road and cleaning powerlines,” he said.

With this project, “we were full about a month when the clearing crews were here, then they cleared out. Now the pipeline workers are in, I've got about 10 or 12 staying here, best I know, through next summer,” St. Pierre said. The site is usually about 50 percent occupied, but with these crews, that number has gone to approximately 75 percent capacity, he added.

“I believe this is a good thing for the local economy, because we've got people buying groceries in our stores, eating in our restaurants,” he said. “It's helping me by giving me an income.”

But in Troup, Chamber of Commerce executive director Gene Whitsell said the town expects to see “some very short-range impact” from the pipeline's presence.

“Maybe there will be money on easements that people are granting to the pipeline, and of course we might collect some sales tax, but these workers will not be here very long because they're moving quickly” on the project, Whitsell said. “But our local merchants definitely will see an impact.”

Jacksonville city manager Mo Raissi pointed out that any positive effects that Jacksonville sees through sales tax won't be known for two months, when the state of Texas reports revenues for the month of November.

“When we get them, we compare them to the same period of the prior year,” then see what sort of difference there is having pipeline workers in the area, Raissi said. “I don't have any official indication … the earliest will be two months down the road.”

Bob Goldsberry, executive director of the Rusk Chamber of Commerce, agreed, adding that regardless of the results, “we just appreciate the fact that they're here.”

“We're kind of the midway point of the leg (of pipeline) that they're building, and it's always a good thing to see these kinds of projects here,” Goldsberry said. “It benefits not just Rusk and Jacksonville, but it's good for the whole county.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos