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Industrial projects take steps

NATCHEZ — Two of Adams County’s commitments in ongoing economic development projects took steps forward Monday.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors awarded a bid of $522,673.25 to T.L. Wallace Construction for the relocation of a sewer line on the former Belwood County Club property, the future site of KiOR’s Natchez alternative fuel production facility.

Board Attorney Scott Slover said the bid was approximately $180,000 below the county’s projected price for the project.

The move of the sewer line is part of the county’s overall commitment to build a levee to protect the Belwood property from the rise and fall of the Mississippi River, said Engineer Doug Wimberly with Jordan, Kaiser and Sessions, the county’s engineering firm.

The property is currently prone to flooding during high water. Though the price will ultimately be determined by bid, county officials have estimated that the levee they look to construct will cost approximately $5 million.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said the sewer line belongs to the City of Natchez, and is used in the discharge of treated water into the Mississippi River.

“Right now, the city’s sewer line actually cuts across the middle of the Belwood property,” Wimberly said. “That is right where KiOR wants to build their plant, so we are having to move that sewer line up against the port road to get it out of the middle of the site.”

Wimberly said the county is working with KiOR’s engineers on the project to look at site drainage.

“We are hoping to advertise for bids (for the levee) right before the end of the year or in early January,” he said. “The goal is to get it under contract and have the project complete by June or July of next year.”

The county committed to build the levee as part of an overall economic development incentive package when recruiting KiOR to the county.

The second economic development move the supervisors took Monday was to advertise for bids to slightly alter the course of the road near Blain Sand and Gravel.

Blain announced a partnership earlier this year with Canadian company Fores in which the two companies will work to produce sand used in hydraulic fracturing, a process employed by the oil and gas industry, under the names Magnolia Frac Sand and Fores Frac Sand.

To do that, Blain will have to expand its existing facilities on State Park Road. The road re-routing is being done to accommodate the processing plant Blain is building, Wimberly said.

“Basically, the footprint of how they would need to build their building needs to get over onto where the existing road is,” he said. “It is otherwise just a straightforward roadway project.”

The Magnolia-Fores partnership is projected to create 60 jobs. KiOR’s commitment has been projected to create 320 direct and indirect jobs and 400 construction jobs.