NATCHEZ — Adams County’s taxpayers now own property that went from being a robust industrial site to a big economic letdown.
County officials signed the paperwork Thursday to close the real estate deal transferring the title of the 478-acre former International Paper mill property from Rentech to Adams County for $9.25 million.
The county entered into a contract to purchase the property in March.
Rentech had purchased the land in 2008 with the announced intentions of building a coal-to-liquids fuel plant that would have created 400 jobs. However, the company later scrapped those plans because of cost concerns.
International Paper operated a mill on the site from 1948 until 2003. County officials tell the Natchez Democrat they hope to bring industry back to the site.
The paper mill closed when IP phased out production at the Natchez plant because of poor market demand for the products made at the facility. County officials hope the land can be sold to new industrial developers.
Natchez Inc. executive director Chandler Russ said the site’s positioning along the Mississippi River and the infrastructure available on it — including an industrial wastewater processing plant — make it the best site on the river for industrial recruitment.
“The supervisors and the citizens of Adams County should really be commended, because this is a bold step, a meaningful step and it is one that has been taken with the utmost consideration, the utmost time and the utmost thought involved,” he said. “Looking at the future of Adams County, it is truly going to be a remarkable piece of property and piece of infrastructure that we are going to market as vigorously as humanly possible.”