‘Green industry’ to bring new life, jobs to site of abandoned tire plant, Mississippi mayor announces

Published 9:05 am Friday, September 8, 2023

A “green industry” may bring new life to a former Mississippi tire plant that has been sitting abandoned for two decades.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson announced Tuesday night on his personal Facebook page that the city’s board of aldermen had approved moving forward with an agreement with the “green industry” to occupy the abandoned former Armstrong Tire and Rubber Co. plant.

The mayor’s announcement came after an executive session at the end of what was a special called meeting of the aldermen Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m.

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That special meeting also included the first public hearing on the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Gibson said the new business, which he did not name, will be required to create at least 50 jobs and make an investment of at least $1 million in the property.

“We are also requiring that any environmental concerns be addressed while offering to work with the new industry in improving the streetscape along Kelly Avenue,” which the mayor said would include a 10-foot privacy fence and landscaping.

“This renovated facility will be returned to the tax rolls, and should it at any time in the future fail to operate as expected, it will return to the city at no cost to the city,” Gibson wrote in his social media post.

Gibson described the industry as “a cutting edge employer specializing in FDA-approved health products known as nutraceuticals and adaptogens. In laymen’s terms, they will produce health-giving foods containing medicinal benefits,” he said.

“Once approved, it is our hope that this will be a win-win for the community around the plant and for the city at large. It definitely beats the current plan, requiring the city to spend thousands of dollars each year on security. And any who think tearing down this massive building is an option should consider what such an endeavor would cost, not to mention the potential health hazards that would be inflicted upon citizens having to breathe in airborne contamination as a result,” Gibson wrote.