Supervisors hoping for IP land

Published 12:16am Friday, March 8, 2013

NATCHEZ — Adams County leaders hope the area’s former industrial powerhouse may willingly donate its remaining unused land to the county — if nothing else, they’re going to ask.

Supervisor Mike Lazarus made the suggestion, stating that the International Paper property — the former wood yard on Lower Woodville Road — has become overgrown but could be put to use again.

“IP is not coming back, and we are always looking for land for Natchez Inc.,” Lazarus said.

“If they won’t outright give it to us, maybe we will give them some tax credits for it.”

Most of the International Paper property was sold to Rentech in mid-2008 for that company’s now- defunct plans to build an alternative fuel plant in Adams County. Rentech recently announced it would put its Adams County property up for sale.

International Paper closed its Adams County plant in 2003.

The supervisors also adopted a resolution approving the basic paperwork that will be taken to financial institutions for the financing of the county’s purchase of an enormous warehouse in the Natchez-Adams County Port.

The approval came at the request of Sam Keys with Butler Snow, the county’s bonding attorneys.

The warehouse is currently used to store products that are off- and on-loaded onto barges in the port. The Natchez Adams-County Port Authority has been operating the warehouse for the Valley National Bank since the bank foreclosed on the building’s former owners in February 2012.

Once the $2.5 million purchase is financed, the county will enter into a certificate of participation, an arrangement in which a non-profit organization — the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District — will hold the title and debt service for the warehouse once it is purchased. The port will continue operating the building, and will use funds generated by its operation for lease payments, which will be the same as the amount required for the note payments SWPDD will have to make for the building.

When the notes are paid off, the title will be transferred to the county.

Board attorney Scott Slover has previously said the port’s operations of the building already generate the necessary funds for the payments.

In other news:

4The supervisors approved a permit application from Atmos Energy to upgrade some of its services along L.E. Barry Road at the Natchez-Adams County Port to better serve the TDC terminal and other clients in the area.

4The supervisors voted to approve a permit application from AT&T Mobility for the modification of a tower antennae on Forest Trail Road.

The modification will allow for better 4G service in the south end of Adams County, Adams County Tower Director Spencer Stutzman said.

4After Road Manager Robbie Dollar spoke about problems with water flow in the Anna’s Bottom and Jackson Point areas of the county, Supervisor’s President Darryl Grennell spoke about the trip he and supervisors Calvin Butler and Angela Hutchings took to Washington, D.C., to discuss with the area’s congressional delegation the need for emergency watershed protection money to be released for Adams County.

Grennell said the congressional representatives felt Adams County’s issues should be reviewed.

The group was also able to tour the U.S. Capitol and was able to meet with House Speaker John Boehner. Slover said Grennell invited the speaker to visit Natchez.

Grennell said the county will also formally invite President Obama to visit Natchez during the city’s tricentennial celebration.

“I met (Obama) before he was President, and at that time I invited him to come to Natchez, and at that time he said he had never been to Natchez but always wanted to visit,” Grennell said. “When we send the invitation, I will send him a picture of the two of us together to remind him.”

  • Anonymous

    Who was the former owner of this warehouse?

  • khakirat

    Again, taxpayers are going to have to keep their eyes on the BOS on spending 10 to 20 times what Rentech paid for this property as was in the talk year or so ago!! We need accountability and transparency on this deal or any other deal but I don’t see where the BOS are going to come up with the money??!! This property is going to interesting to watch the politics!!