Bude residents react to biofuel announcement

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 27, 2010

NATCHEZ — Some Bude residents welcomed the idea of KiOR, a crude oil substitute production company, opening a plant near their town.

“That is music to my ears,” lifelong Bude resident and former Franklin Lumber employee Connie Arnold said of the news.

“I’m very encouraged (to hear news of KiOR possibly coming to Bude). This is a depressed community, economically.”

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Arnold said most of the jobs in Bude are affiliated in some way with Franklin Lumber or American Railcar Industries. Since the price of lumber went down, some other lumber companies have gone out of business in recent years.

“We’re blessed with the lumber that we have here but lumber prices are so depressed that folks have been anxious to sell it,” Arnold said.

She said more jobs could benefit the community, especially since unemployment has increased in the last 18 months.

Arnold’s husband, Roger, who works offshore, said new jobs would a nice change.

“I think it would be great. There’s no jobs around here,” Roger said.

Bude resident Shirley Derrick said she also welcomes the idea of the new company.

“It would affect Bude drastically. (Bude) is desperately in need of jobs.

Derrick, who is the bookkeeper of a hardware store, said she has noticed a drop in sales since the building industry has recently slowed.

Derrick said she knows of many people in the community who have been laid off since January. She said a boost from a new industry would be welcome.

“It’s like a domino effect for a small community,” Derrick said.

“If it comes to fruition,” Derrick added.

Judy Ellzey has duel residency in Bude and Natchez. She said she would regret the effects of KiOR’s opening a plant if it took away Bude’s small-town atmosphere. But she said the additional jobs would be a plus.

“That’d be great,” Ellzey said.