(Riesel) - Construction is underway on Sandy Creek Energy Station, a 900-megawatt coal-fired power plant just outside of Riesel. The stack will one day be a prominent sight on the eastern McLennan County horizon. Once completed at 360 feet high, it will be almost 60 feet taller than downtown Waco's ALICO building. It's the first major structure on the 700-acre spread off Rattlesnake Road, two miles west of Riesel. After another ten to 12 months of earth moving and utility installation, workers will start putting steel in the ground as they construct the plant's boiler house. Already, about 110 construction workers are employed at the site. By 2010, about 1,200 people will work at the plant during the peak of construction to make it operational by 2012. After it is built, the plant will employ about 100 people full time. Zachry Construction, the project's top contractor, starts its general laborers at $9.50 and $11 an hour. Wages range upward from there.
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