Franklin County mill is closing

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2000

ROXIE – As the future of International Paper Natchez plant remains uncertain, a mill in neighboring Franklin County is closing its doors, according to unofficial reports. Roxie Mayor Betty Norris said she has not received official notice from the company, but employees of the Georgia-Pacific mill were recently given letters announcing the mill’s closing.

&uot;We’re just like everybody else; we heard it through the grapevine,&uot; she said.

&uot;(The mill) is to my knowledge the biggest industry in the county,&uot; Norris said — an industry on which the small town of Roxie relies for tax revenues and employment for more than 100 people.

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But, more than that, Norris said Georgia-Pacific has always been a &uot;good neighbor&uot; by supporting the local volunteer fire department, library and community programs.

&uot;We’re really going to miss a lot of things like that,&uot; she said.

Rumors of the mill closing have been circulating around the county for several years, Norris said, but new equipment and recent expansion at the mill had employees comfortable their jobs were safe.

&uot;It’s some bad news for us. It’s like the Grinch stole Christmas,&uot; she said.

Office staff at the mill said the closing was temporary and they would know more when an official announcement comes from Georgia-Pacific headquarters in Atlanta. Efforts to contact headquarters were unsuccessful.

Norris said she had heard that the closing was only temporary and that a &uot;skeleton staff&uot; is being maintained.

&uot;We’ll survive of course, but it won’t be easy,&uot; she said.