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County receives bids for new road at von Drehle

Spirit Construction workers Jon Grace, left, and Jose Gomez construct a wall for a storage building for parent roll, finished paper product to be made into the Von Drehle Corporation’s paper products. The Adams County Board of Supervisors received bids yesterday for the construction of a road that will support the Von Drehle project. The project includes the installation of a new paper machine. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Spirit Construction workers Jon Grace, left, and Jose Gomez construct a wall for a storage building for parent roll, finished paper product to be made into the Von Drehle Corporation’s paper products. The Adams County Board of Supervisors received bids yesterday for the construction of a road that will support the Von Drehle project. The project includes the installation of a new paper machine. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Mississippi’s taxpayers may contribute approximately $450,000 toward a new road for economic development in Adams County.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors received bids Tuesday for an additional entrance road at von Drehle’s Adams County location.

The road, which will be financed by a Development Infrastructure Program grant from the Mississippi Development Authority, is being built in conjunction with von Drehle’s construction to add a paper manufacturing facility at the former Mississippi River Pulp facility.

Spirit Construction general foreman David Rodriguez walks past a 25-foot hole that will serve as the basement for Von Drehle’s new paper machine. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Spirit Construction general foreman David Rodriguez walks past a 25-foot hole that will serve as the basement for Von Drehle’s new paper machine. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Adams County will have to meet a required 10 percent match for the project, which the county will supply with in-kind contributions in the form of dirt, engineer Doug Wimberly with Jordan, Kaiser and Sessions said.

The ongoing construction at von Drehle is to build a facility to house a paper manufacturing machine and an extra storage area. When it is completed, the project is expected to support between 125 and 150 new jobs at the plant — which currently employs 63 — and produce 30,000 tons of paper product annually.

The apparent low bidder for the road project was Midway Construction, whose $450,179 bid came in below the engineer’s estimate of $480,000.

Other submitted bids include:

• Camo Construction, $514,476

• W.E. Blain and Sons,  $702,684.33

• Dozer LLC, $998,337.25

• Dirtworks, $534,241.25

• Anderson Contracting of Yazoo, $687,059.64

County Engineer Jim Marlow said the bids would be reviewed and he would come back to the board with a final recommendation at a later date.

In other news:

• The county is working to repair the elevator in the Adams County jail.

The elevator is currently out of commission because of an issue with the doors, County Administrator Joe Murray said, and the repairs will cost approximately $26,000.

A total overhaul of the elevator will cost approximately $120,000, he said.

The jail, which houses prisoners on the second and third floors of the building, has only one elevator.

The repair has been delayed because the contract the elevator company sent the county had several clauses the county could not legally sign, board attorney Scott Slover said, including a request that the county not hold the company liable if the repairs were not effective.

A revised version of the contract has been sent to the elevator repair company for review, Slover said.

“We need to find somebody else who can say, ‘I will fix the thing and put a warranty on it,’” Supervisor Mike Lazarus said. “If you are paying them $26,000, you shouldn’t have to beg them to fix it.”

Adams County Sheriff’s Office Col. Debbie Gee said the elevator has been non-functional for three weeks.

“It is extremely frustrating to get prisoners who are not happy about going up those stairs up them,” Gee said.

Food also has to be transported up the stairs when the elevator is not functional, she said.

Adams County Maintenance Manager Johnny Williams said even after the contract is approved it will still take three weeks to order parts and three days to make the repairs.

• The supervisors voted to increase the county’s funding to the Alcorn State University farmer’s market from $1,800 to $9,300.

Supervisors’ President Darryl Grennell presented the request for an increase on behalf of the market’s director, saying the funding would go toward paying the market’s rent.

Alcorn’s extension service supplies the employees for the market, Murray said.

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