President Joe Biden thanks Samsung for investing in Texas but names wrong town
TAYLOR, Texas - Construction is already underway on the new Samsung plant SW of Taylor. Make no mistake, the old farm land is already growing jobs.
"So now that it's really happening, and we're seeing some dirt being moved on the site, it's very, it is something to anticipate and something to look forward to the city. And I think it does feel real, for sure," said Taylor city spokesperson Stacey Osborne.
A symbolic groundbreaking ceremony, according to Osborne, is expected to take place sometime in June.
"It will be big. And we're we are super excited to be welcoming all the people who are involved with this project and thanking them for getting it off the ground, literally."
A presidential thank you happened Friday.
"This is an auspicious start to my visit because it's emblematic of the future cooperation and innovation that our nations can and must build together," said President Joe Biden.
The Samsung plant President Biden toured in South Korea is expected to be a model for the company’s new venture in Texas. His high praise came with a slight geographical mistake.
"Thanks for the incredible $17 billion investment that Samsung announced last May, soon to the United States to have facilities like this one that manufactures the most advanced chips in the world in Tyler, Texas," said the President.
Samsung is not building in East Texas, but in Taylor located a few miles NE of Austin.
"There is great history in Tyler, Texas but sorry Mi Amigo, you are not getting Samsung," said a smiling Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
Judge Gravell laughed off the presidential gaffe and said he appreciated the attempt at a compliment. But he also pointed out that major corporations have no problem finding central Texas on the map. For that reason, county leaders are trying to address infrastructure needs.
"Ultimately Williamson Co is going to build and build out. What I don’t want us to do is become like Travis County that did a poor job in planning roadways and paths, so in Williamson Co we are ahead of the curve, but we are going to have to keep moving to stay ahead of the growth that’s coming," said Gravell.
For the city of Taylor staying ahead of the curve involves not paving over its small town charm. A big step in that is a new growth plan called Envision Taylor. It was approved a week before the Samsung announcement. To prove some additional protection to the town, Osborne said some modifications are now being made to the plan.
"But we feel really prepared, because we had been working on this, we've been working on addressing infrastructure issues. We had been working on trying to make sure that our land use in the city was equitably distributed and that we had a really, really good handle on how to make sure that our city could handle this growth both fiscally and physically over time," said Osborne.
Judge Gravell said providing reliable power is critical to sustaining the economic growth that’s happening. An announcement is coming soon on a project that Gravell said will bring new power resources to the county.