MURPHYSBORO, Il. (KFVS) -Murphysboro Industrial Park will soon be the home to a new $3 million asphalt plant.
Samron Midwest Contracting purchased the asphalt company from an Indianapolis company. On Wednesday, the construction site was active.
Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens said this is a “noteworthy” development for the city. “It’s certainly one of the largest private sector developments in Murphysboro in many many years," he said.
There will be approximately 30 permanent jobs and about a dozen temporary construction jobs. “Jobs are the lifeblood of every community in the country,” Stephens said.
The company plans to produce 60,000 tons of asphalt a year.
80 percent of the city’s budget comes from retail sales tax, and the mayor said people with more discretionary income tend to spend in retail. “You have more jobs, you have more people buying gasoline, you have more people going to the grocery stores and to the restaurants,” he said.
Pat Burke is the owner of Pat’s BBQ in Murphysboro. His restaurants has been around for 20 years. His business is located near the Industrial Park, and he said the new plant will help with foot traffic.
“Yeah it would help ours too...We are out on the main drag where people come in and out of industrial park ...Any kind of traffic...We could defintely handle it,” Burke said.
Before his restaurant, Burke was in the asphalt business for more than 25 years. He said the new business is not only good for his restaurant, but also the city of Murphysboro. “Anything that comes to Murphysboro, it helps us out tax wise, it helps us out employment wise. Little towns are dying towns, we’ve lost a lot of business over the years, so anything that comes in I’m sure everyone is tickled to death to have it," he said.
According to the mayor, Illini Asphalt is the only asphalt provider in the area. With this new business, there will be two options for asphalt. “Competition ultimately drives down prices, I mean that’s how things work in a free market economy,” Stephens said.
The city of Murphysboro still has a $15 million hotel development project. The mayor said, despite the delays, the developer hopes 2020 is the year they will build it.
Mayor Stephens is already planning ahead and thinking long term. He said, “Identify some property so that we can take advantage of other growth that may want to come in the future."
The asphalt plant will be fully up and running by May of this year.