Rail work OK’d for new project; Funds approved ahead of ‘major’ announcement

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors adopted Monday a resolution that will allow for approximately $655,000 in rail improvements on the former International Paper site.

The resolution, presented to the board by Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ, says the board will provide a 10-percent match to a Development Infrastructure Program (DIP) grant from the Mississippi Development Authority in connection with an economic development project known as Project Delta.

County and Natchez Inc. officials have kept the identity of the company, what it will do, how many people it will hire and how much it will invest in the project a secret, but Russ said Monday more will be available for disclosure Feb. 10.

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Natchez Inc. has an announcement billed as “a major economic development project” slated for 10 a.m. Feb. 10 at 61 Carthage Point Road.

“This (DIP) project is an improvement of the rail line from the St. Catherine Creek trestle to the scale house area on the IP property,” Russ said. “It’s a refurbishment of the existing tracks, the rail bed and the ties, but the rail itself is in pretty good shape.”

The refurbishment of approximately 7,200-feet of track will put the IP property back online for rail service, Russ said.

The 10-percent match the county will provide for the $654,588 in improvements will an in-kind match in the form of land, easement improvements and the rail infrastructure already in place, he said.

“It will not be any cash outlay,” he said.

DIP grants are used to fund publicly owned infrastructure to assist with the location or expansion of business.

The company involved in connection with Project Delta will be responsible for maintaining the rail line from the switch to the warehouse, which the company has leased from the county with plans to purchase it later.