County working on lease

Published 12:04 am Thursday, December 11, 2014

NATCHEZ — The former International Paper warehouse could soon be leaving Adams County’s hands as a manufacturing-sector industry negotiates a lease — and possibly purchase — deal for the building with the county.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Wednesday that authorizes its attorney, Scott Slover, to move forward with the legal arrangements necessary to lease the warehouse.

“We authorized Scott to draw up the lease, and the company is planning to purchase (the warehouse) after a year,” Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said.

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Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said the company is looking to lease the warehouse and approximately 30 acres of the former paper plant property.

Russ declined to name the company, what industry it is in, how many jobs it might create and a total investment amount the company might bring to the area.

“We feel like — assuming all our Is and Ts continue to dot and cross — we will probably have some type of formal announcement sometime at the end of January,” Russ said.

The county has owned the IP warehouse since it bought the shuttered 478-acre industrial property from Rentech, which never realized its one-time plans to build a coal-to-fuel plant on the site.

Grennell said the warehouse would need some work before it could be used industrially.

“The company will be doing all the improvements,” he said.

The discussion leading up to the authorization was conducted in executive session. Mississippi’s open meeting laws allow discussions of industrial prospects and the sale of real property to be had behind close doors.

Wednesday’s meeting also included discussion of negotiations for the sale a portion of the IP property to Natchez Railway.

The discussions were for land on which a proposed loop track to supplement operations in the Natchez-Adams County Port area could be built, Grennell said.