Reward potential big for Ark. mill, but has risks

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Legislators are working to weigh whether the risks are worth the rewards that a planned $1.1 billion steel mill in Osceola would bring.

The House and Senate are doing groundwork in advance of a bill being submitted that would have the state borrow $125 million to help fund the project and give the Big River Steel mill $75 million in grants.

Once the Legislature gets a bill, it has 20 working days to approve the measure under terms of a voter-approved measure that allows the state to borrow money to help land major economic projects.

Mill developers promise it will employ more than 500 people earning salaries of more than $75,000 per year. And the factory would employ 2,000 construction workers while it is being built.