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County taking bids to clear timber off old IP site

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is advertising for bids for the removal of timber from the 470-acre site of the old International Paper plant.

Board vice president Mike Lazarus tells the Natchez Democrat that the property’s previous owners, Rentech, were already logging the land when Adams County bought it in August.

“The day we took the title, we stopped (the logging operation), because the county couldn’t tell the logger to keep cutting because we have to follow bid laws,” Lazarus said.

County administrator Joe Murray said the forester working the operation at the time the county took over the property estimated the land had between 20 and 25 loads of timber left for cutting.

“We have no idea what money 20-25 loads of wood might bring, and that is going to depend on the type of wood,” Murray said. “That is exactly why we are putting it out to bid, so we can get the best deal on it.”

The county similarly cut the timber on the former Belwood Country Club last year in anticipation of KiOR eventually locating a fuel plant there. Murray said the timber brought in less than $30,000.

Murray said the IP property will need to be cleared anyway as it is redeveloped for industry.

Adams County bought the property from Rentech for $9 million to get control of the industrial wastewater treatment plant located there. Officials with Natchez Inc. said the plant would be an industrial recruiting tool.

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