Adams County business leases portion of former IP property

Published 12:06am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NATCHEZ — An existing business in Adams County has signed an agreement with the county government to lease a portion of the former International Paper property.

The agreement will bring an additional 20 to 30 jobs to Adams County, Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said.

Supervisors’ Attorney Scott Slover said via email the authority to execute the lease was granted after an executive session meeting of the board Monday.

An official news release detailing what the lease is for and what company it is with will come in the near future, Slover said.

This lease is not with the same entity the board signed a letter of intent about an expansion with last week, Slover said.

Though the lease will only be for a small portion of the former IP property, which the county purchased in August for approximately $9 million, it starts the redevelopment of the shuttered industrial site.

“It is good that the existing industry sees a need for utilization of that property at the moment,” Grennell said. “I understand (Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ) has been talking to some prospects who are interested in the property, so I am hoping that (more) is going to happen in the near future.”

IP shuttered its paper mill on the 470-acre plus site in 2003.

Rentech, an alternative fuels company looking to develop the property into a coal-to-liquid fuel facility, purchased the land in 2008, but ultimately shelved the plans in 2012 before putting the property on the market.

Adams County has had discussions with prospective industrial clients about the land since its purchase, but the lease coming out of this week’s meeting will be the first solid commitment for the property.