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Idled plant site could see new tenant

LAUDERDALE COUNTY — Lauderdale County officials hope there is some good news for a plant site that had great promise a few years ago but died.

In 2006, Shuqualak Lumber Company announced it would be building a new processed wood product manufacturing plant called Loblolly Industries at the Sonny Montgomery Industrial Park. Loblolly never built the plant, leaving the county on the hook for the millions it had spent on the site.

This week, Lauderdale County supervisors voted 3-2 to accept a letter of intent from a company interested in locating in the abandoned Loblolly site, which is owned by the county.

Officials said the company, Maridale, LLC, would have six months to do its homework and decide if it want to locate here. If so, it would have 18 months to exercise a lease that would run for 30 years.

The rest of the details are secret — under a confidentiality contract signed with the county.

That agreement also means other details — such as how many jobs Maridale would provide — are confidential.

According the letter of intent, the company plans to purchase a one-year option on the property for $30,000.

The county took out a $10 million bond to make improvements to the site in 2006. If another company leases the property, it would help the county pay the debt service on the bond. Until now, the county has been paying the debt service using left over money from the bond.

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