Leon County Excited About FutureGen

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Leon County could be the future home of FutureGen

Jewett has been selected as one of the two Texas sites in the running.

"We're very excited about the fact that they've chosen us to be the site in Texas and we're going to do everything we can to bring it in Texas," County Judge Byron Ryder said.

The two proposed sites are north of Leon County on land already mined by the Texas Westmoreland Coal Company.

A few selling points, six and a half million tons of lignite are mined near the sites for a nearby power plant, water is available, along with railroad access, the area is sparsely populated and local companies are already interested in buying the electricity generated by FutureGen.

Plus it would be a big boost to the local economy.

"I believe Jewett will grow a lot more than I ever thought it would," Jewett Mayor Judi Kirkpatrick said.

"This will be a great opportunity for the young people in the area that are graduating to stay in the area so many would like to do that and don't get to because of job availability in the area," Jewett Economic Development Chair Billy Evans said.

Roughly 2,000 jobs will be added for construction and around 400 jobs will be needed to operate FutureGen, meaning thousands of new people generating dollars into the local economy.

Jewett will compete against other Texas finalist Odessa and other sites around the US.

Every state can submit a proposal and must do so by May 4.

A first cut should be made sometime this summer and the announcement of the selected site should be made February or March of next year.