Sen. Lott, supervisors met this week

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sen. Trent Lott and members of the Adams County Board of Supervisors agreed they had a successful meeting in which they discussed economic progress this past week.

Supervisors talked with Lott, among other congressmen and their staff, earlier this week.

Those supervisors who attended said they felt they got messages across to congressmen about what Natchez-Adams County needs and how their offices can help.

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“In my opinion, it was by far one of the best trips we’ve had,” Supervisor Thomas “Boo” Campbell, who has served 20 years on the board, said. “The meeting went very, very well.”

The main topic of discussion was economic development, Lott (R-Miss.) said.

The group talked about the importance of creating more jobs in southwest Mississippi, he said.

The conversation “centered around Rentech and their plans to move into the Adams County area,” Lott said.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the supervisors briefed the senator on Rentech’s status and how it was looking at a new, larger location in the county.

“We gave (Sen. Lott) an update on the Rentech project, and how Rentech might potentially move to the (International Paper) property,” said.

Rentech, a coal- or coke-to-liquid company, had originally planned to locate on the Belwood Country Club property but has recently been eyeing the IP site, which representatives say will allow a larger plant.

The plan is for the county to buy the IP land and sell the majority of it to Rentech.

The process of going through the steps in order to sell has been a little slow, though, Grennell said. And the faster Rentech gets the land, the more likely they will be able to use GO Zone incentives.

Lott offered to help move things along, Grennell said.

Lott said he “contacted IP to urge them to expedite the proceedings,” he said.

Coincidently, Lott said, he met with an IP representative the day after his meeting with the supervisors.

“I told her it would be really helpful if things would move forward with the legal or purchasing requirements necessary,” he said.

The senator’s hint apparently did the trick. Campbell said that since the supervisors have been back from Washington, D.C., dealings with IP have really picked up the pace.

“We have had a great amount of movement from IP since we’ve got back,” Campbell said. “We’ve never had that kind of movement out of them. Everything went very, very well.”

Other topics of conversation included the potential correctional facilities interested in locating in Adams County and the possibility of local merchants supplying parts to manufacturers in the state.

“We need to do more in southwest Mississippi and up in the Delta,” Lott said.

“There are certain difficulties we have to contend with. Part of it is location — in the very southwest corner.

“But you also have advantages. It’s a great place to live, and it’s on the Mississippi River. That’s a huge plus. It’s like being on the largest interstate imaginable. I think there’s potential in Natchez, and I look forward to working with them in the future.”