Bush Hog gets its wish

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The streets surrounding Bush Hog will close in three weeks.

The Selma City Council voted during its meeting Tuesday to close the streets and begin working on a new street, an extension of Etheridge Avenue, that would eventually cross the railroad tracks, providing an outlet for residents who live on Griffin Avenue.

The vote was not unanimous. The Rev. B.L. Tucker, who represents the area, voted against the move. Ward 7 councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw also voted against the proposal.

Mayor George Evans recommended the street closure after reading a memorandum of understanding hammered out through a series of negotiations among Bush Hog, the city, the county, Norfolk Southern Railroad and the Dallas County Economic Development Agency.

In the memorandum of understanding, Alamo Group, the parent owner of Bush Hog, said unless there were dire circumstances, it would not close the plant.

This also means the $20 million worth of jobs could come to Selma as another plant moves in, according to the mayor.

The city has about $150,000 to begin building the street. The city and Dallas County Commissioners would chip in $25,000 each; EDA is donating $50,000 and Bush Hog is putting up $50,000.

Here’s how the price of the street would break down:

Main road, $128,300

Etheridge road work, $54,800

Grade crossing, $301,000

Engineering design, $40,400

Construction management and inspection (parttime), $18,400.

Bush Hog officials have said they want the road closed for the safety and security of their workers and the people who live in the area.

Additionally, Bush Hog officials say Alamo Group has concerns about the cost of liability insurance. Insurance premiums for the high safety risks are expensive, plant officials said.