Mayor Stephen DonCarlos of Baytown spoke recently to the Rotary Club of Highlands, reviewing the upcoming economic development plans for the city, and other projects.
DonCarlos has been mayor of Baytown since his election in 2006, and has seen growth in population and the economy. But he says that plans for future projects promise much more.
The XL pipeline, and the shale oil it will bring from Canada, will drive the need for expansion projects at the four major refineries in Baytown, ExxonMobil, ChevonPhillips, Enterpise, and Bayer. What is unusual about the construction plans of these industries, he said, is that their growth will be simultaneous. He forsees that in the next 3 to 4 years, Baytown will need 22,000 construction workers, and will eventually have 1500-1700 permanent jobs related to this expansion. The need for housing will burgeon, and include Highlands as well as surrounding cities. Lee College is busy preparing new courses for these workers, he said. These jobs will be well paying, as much as $70,000 or more per year.
Related to this, Enterprise has purchased 2200 acres for expansion, and Chevron plans major expansion at Sjolander and I-10, with new buildings and roads.