Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

NATCHEZ – Supervisors on Friday signed an agreement to buy the former International Paper mill site for use as an industrial park, pending a 120-day due diligence review of the site.

“It’s a great day for Adams County, and a long time coming,” supervisors President Darryl Grennell said after signing the contract. “We’ve already had several companies calling us about land at the site.”

Since soon after IP closed the mill in July 2003 due to market factors, leaving 600-plus people out of work, local officials have worked to buy the site from IP.

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During those negotiations, attorneys for both sides have passed numerous contract drafts back and forth in an attempt to seal the deal.

“Now we’re in the final stages,” said Woody Allen, chairman of the Economic Development Authority. “There’s a lot of (due diligence) work to be done in the next 120 days, but it feels good to get everybody on board.”