Live Oak is a small town that is about to see a big boost to its economy.
A Klausner Lumber One sawmill will be constructed in Suwannee County about eight miles from the center of Live Oak, just past the intersection of Interstate 10 and U.S. Route 90, Gov. Rick Scott announced Jan. 25.
Live Oak Mayor Garth Nobles said the sawmill will greatly benefit his city and the entire North Florida region.
The sawmill is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and add more than $130 million in capital over three years, according to a press release. Construction of the mill will require 700 jobs.
The mill will inject a tremendous boost into Live Oak’s local businesses and help the economy by creating jobs, Nobles said. It will also draw other businesses to the region, some from as far away as Europe.
He said there are some who have expressed some opposition to the mill, but the consensus among residents is excitement about the opportunities the mill offers.
Nell Brady has lived in Live Oak all her life and said anything that brings in new jobs is a good thing.
The mill will work primarily with southern yellow pine found in Suwannee County, according to the release. Nobles said he thinks the site’s location was the key to bringing in the business.
The county invested millions of dollars into the purchase of the property and clearing of the mill site, he said. The funding came from a county revenue surplus.
There is no official opening date for the mill.
Andrew V. Pestano and Emily Stanton edited this story online.