The city council of Palestine, Texas, took further steps in bringing Sanderson Farms to its vicinity, approving a tax abatement contract with the company and an interlocal agreement with Anderson County. The motions were approved at its April 22 council meeting.

The agreement, presented to the council by Palestine Economic Development Corp. Director Wendy Ellis, allows for an 8-year tax abatement for the value of improvements to be placed on the property inside the city limits for the operation of a hatchery facility, the Palestine Herald-Press reported.

"The proposed value of the facility to be built will not be less than $16 million and approximately 90 jobs are proposed," Ellis said. "They have requested a tax abatement on a portion of the value of the property to help them establish the new complex."

In the proposed agreement, in exchange for their investment and jobs created, Sanderson Farms Inc. would receive a 90 percent abatement on the value of the improvements over the next six years (after construction completed, expected in 2015); 85 percent in year seven; and 80 percent in year eight.

Also during the meeting, the council approved an Interlocal Agreement between the City and Anderson County to extend roads and utilities to the Sanderson Farms processing facility. County commissioners approved the agreement the same day, Ellis reported.

Sanderson Farms has not yet released any official dates concerning when construction of the new complex will begin.