Bonds Could Jump Start East Mississippi

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Shuqualak Lumber Company has been the prime mover in creating Tim Tek, a new method of processing lumber products and bringing the plant to Lauderdale County.

Anderson Thomas, vice president of Shuqualak Lumber said Tuesday the Legislature's action in approving $10 million in bonds for infrastructure start-up costs will go a long way in making Tim Tek a reality for Lauderdale County.

Thomas said the company has already leased 230 acres here after looking at 49 different possible sites in 25 Mississippi and Alabama Counties. He anticipates the planned $100 million plant will be in operation in late 2006.

Thomas estimated it will provide 140 jobs averaging about $48,000 per year.

As for Pharma Pac in Kemper County, its $500,000 bond money in the bill will create a new 40,000 square foot building needed for expansion.

Joe Donavon, chief financial officer for Pharma Pac, said the state's action will allow it to continue expanding to next year's anticipated 300 jobs.

Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith reacted to the passage of what amounts to investment incentive within Lauderdale County.

"A lot of work has gone in to recapturing the trade area, breathing life back into downtown. Those two have been jump started and are well on the way to success and I think the action by the legislature and the hard work by our legislative delegation as well as the Lt. Governor and the governor and the EMBDC folks, this is the jump start that we've needed for manufacturing and distribution for the kind of job creation that we've sought for a number of years," Smith said.

The bill also contained $11 million in bonds for the effort to keep the Base Closure and Realignment Commission process from closing military bases.