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Board Approves Additional $300K Incentives for ASP


Wednesday afternoon, the Mississippi County Planning and Development committee approved an additional $300,000 in incentives for Arkansas Steel Processing (ASP) to hire 15 more Mississippi County residents.

County economic developer Clif Chitwood said the initial grant funded 41 jobs at $10,000 each, which was to be used to hire from the workforce program that was first discussed in July of 2017. As of Wednesday, Chitwood stated ASP has hired about 35 people, all from Mississippi County. He also said he would like to grant the company another $300,000 for purchasing more “capital equipment” and also hire another 15 more people.

When asked by committee members about the workforce program Chitwood responded more than 400 have been through the program and it has better than a 75 percent success rate.

Justice Fred Fleeman asked what is considered a success? Chitwood responded by saying they have a job or they have since continued their education.

Justice Neil Burge made the motion to approve the appropriation to allow Arkansas Steel Processing to purchase $300,000 in capital equipment and the hiring of 15.

Also discussed in the meeting, Justice Michael White handed out a letter sent to him by County Judge John Alan Nelson who “needs direction in accounts payable.”

“The money that we committed to A&J Construction for the building of the building over at Manila airport, we got these letters from TBS Capital Funding saying that we can’t give A& J Construction Management any money, that we have to give the money to them,” White explained.

Chitwood said he has spoken to A&J, which said TBS isn’t involved in the project.

White added that TBS Capital Funding, which isn’t a law firm, sent the letter.

White said TBS has sent the letter several times and asked for action or if county attorney Jeremy Thomas needed to look at the letter.

Justice Nelson stated, “I say have our attorney look at it but I agree it’s not a legal document.”

Fleeman asked if anyone had spoken with A&J about the letter.

Chitwood responded he had and they told him they were “on schedule.”

Justice Nelson added to continue doing business with the company and asked that Thomas look at the letter.