House OKs $20 million for Cooper

The state House voted Tuesday to issue $20 million in bonds to help secure a $140 million investment by Cooper Tire for renovations and upgrades at its Tupelo manufacturing plant.

Lee County and Tupelo officials have been working on getting state assistance for the project at the plant, which employs 1,600.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company has stated its intentions to spend $140 million to make upgrades at one or more of its plants, which are located in multiple sites in the United States and worldwide.

The belief is if the state will make a financial commitment to the project, Cooper will expend the funds in Tupelo and ensure that the plant remains open, and possibly expanding, for at least the next 10 years.

Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, who offered the amendment, said the funds would ensure that “Cooper is competitive in a global market and continues to employ people in Lee County.”

Holland’s amendment was one of several offered to a larger bond proposal. He also was successful in passing an amendment to secure $700,000 in bond funds to match local funds to complete renovations and updates at the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo.

Daily Journal
3/19/14