Updated Sept. 15., 5:30 p.m.

At a Sept. 13 Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to the county's tax abatement agreement with steel company Husteel America that pushed the abatement start date from 2023 to 2024.

According to the abatement details posted on the meeting agenda, the alteration to the Aug. 23 agreement would give Husteel more time to complete planned improvements.

The item was posted to the consent agenda, which is not discussed during meetings unless a commissioner moves it to the open agenda.

Aug. 30, 11:42 a.m.

Montgomery County commissioners approved a five-year tax abatement for steel company Husteel America’s planned Splendora facility at an Aug. 23 meeting. Commissioners voted 4-1 with Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack opposing the deal.

According to a copy of the agreement provided by County Attorney B.D. Griffin, Husteel America will receive a 100% ad valorem tax abatement in 2023 and then decreasing abatements in following years. The abatement period—which will begin Jan. 1, 2023, and end Dec. 31, 2032—will solely target improvements constructed on the 35-acre property and not any changes in the land value itself. In an email to Community Impact Newspaper, Griffin estimated the improvements would be valued at $122 million upon completion.

Griffin previously told Community Impact Newspaper that companies tend to use the first years of their abatements to build up infrastructure and hire employees. The agreement contains a commitment of minimum employees that Husteel must meet by 2025 and 2029.

If the company does not employ the minimum amount of full-time workers, it must pay back the county 1.5% of its abated taxes multiplied by the amount of positions below the limit, according to the agreement.

Husteel America, whose parent company Husteel is based in Seoul, South Korea, specializes in steel manufacturing, according to its website. The notice for the Aug. 23 meeting said the Splendora facility will specialize in oil country tubular goods, a term used for drilling piping.

The facility itself is spread across lots 170-172 of the Ida Strauss subdivision in Splendora. According to data from the Montgomery Central Appraisal District, the parcels making up the land were sold to Husteel by Midline Road Property in September 2019.

Commissioners previously rejected a 100% abatement over 10 years—the maximum permitted by Texas law—on June 28. However, at the Aug. 23 meeting, County Judge Mark Keough, who had spoken in opposition to the earlier abatement, voiced his desire to work with Husteel on changed terms.

“When this was brought up last time, I have to be honest, ... I was opposed to the abatement,” Keough said. “What [Husteel] have done is they’ve come to us and made an adjustment.”

Noack, who also opposed the earlier proposal, did not comment on his "no" vote at the Aug. 23 meeting and did not respond to a request for comment through his staff.

A complete copy of the agreement can be found below.