March 17, 2014 9:09:00 AM
FULTON -- Itawamba County now has 261 acres to market to prospective companies.
The land is located about three miles south of Fulton. A portion of the land runs along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and provides access to the county's port and local railway.
The county paid $380,122 for the land in January. It used some of the money made during the sale of the Townhouse Furniture building in Mantachie, now home to Jackson Furniture. The building sold for just more than $690,000.
The last time the county made a land purchase of this size was in 2007, when officials bought 300 acres in Fawn Grove, now home to the industrial park that houses Toyota Boshoku.
Greg Deakle, executive director of the Itawamba County Development Council and director of the Itawamba County Port, said the county has very few potential industrial sites available, making it difficult to woo prospective companies into the area.
"Over the last two or three years, we've had around six prospects looking for 100-acre or greater sites," Deakle told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
He said companies are often shipping large materials, making waterway transportation an attractive, usually cheaper option.
"Most people looking at 100 acre-plus sites are also looking for port and rail service .We've looked all up and down the waterway for sites. Unfortunately, there aren't many large properties left along the waterway," Deakle said.
Deakle said there is around 20 acres of space near the port currently viable for development.
"It's hard to look at where you want to go with only 20 acres available," he said. "We needed this room to grow the port."
The land, Deakle said, should be relatively easy to develop.
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