The construction of Mississippi Power's lignite coal plant has been good for small businesses in the vicinity.
The plant in the Liberty community of Kemper County has been under construction for several months.It has turned what was a very quiet, rural community into an almost booming metropolis. And the people have to eat.
As you travel north on Highway 493 from Lauderdale County to Kemper County, you notice hundreds of travel trailers that are being used for the contractors and workers of the plant. Then you'll notice small restaurants doing a booming business.
"The business here is really good," said Shelby Moseley of Tim's Snack Shack. "The coal plant has given us a lot of business actually, a lot of good people coming through here. Meeting new people, giving us ideas for our work. Which is improving us.
Contractors and workers from the different companies and corporations associated with the plant say they enjoyed being able to eat and mingle with co-workers. The location of the small eateries is not too far down the road from the plant, making it very convenient for the workers.
"All the construction workers coming in, it has been good for our business," said Gina Ivy of Smith's Corner. "We've had a lot of sales; we stay extremely busy through dinner and breakfast."
There are roughly 2,000 workers currently at the coal plant. About half of them are from Mississippi.
When complete, the plant is expected to employ about 300 people full-time.