New Industry Sparks Pelahatchie
Nov. 30, 2022
Source: By Charles Bailey, Rankin County News
PELAHATCHIE – The town of Pelahatchie has a lot to be thankful for this year.
Officials recently approved an arrangement that will bring a new industry – Menasha Packaging Company – to the town’s industrial park, investing $79 million into the plant formerly operated by Georgia Pacific’s ‘Color-Box’ operation.
Menasha also intends to expand the workforce at the plant by at least 21 employees. The Wisconsin-based industry recently purchased all of Georgia Pacific’s stateside ‘Color-Box’ operations.
“Because Menasha has operations in multiple places across the country, there was the very real possibility that they could re-locate the Pelahatchie operations somewhere else,” Board of Supervisors Attorney Craig Slay said.
“Through the work of the Mississippi Development Authority at the state level, and through the work of our folks at Rankin First, we are happy to report that Menasha intends to stay in Pelahatchie. And not only that; they intend to expand the operations in Pelahatchie, and to add jobs at the plant.”
The move was structured on a ‘fee in lieu of taxes’ agreement, by which Menasha will pay an agreed to sum for a period of 10 years, with those dollars being split equally between the county, the town and the Rankin County School District. The minimum investment required to qualify for a fee in lieu of taxes arrangement is $60 million. Menasha plans to exceed that figure by $19 million. After 10 years, Menasha will begin paying its full portion of ad valorem taxes.
“This is very significant, considering that if this deal had fallen through, we were looking at the possibility of this plant closing down, and 100 to 120 people losing their jobs,” Pelahatchie Mayor Karl Van Horn said. “Pelahatchie would have taken a significant blow, economically, if that had happened.
“Industry is the (economic) backbone of Pelahatchie,” he said. “If not for our industrial partners, Pelahatchie wouldn’t survive. Their estimate of 21 new jobs is a conservative number. I really look for them to add more than 21 jobs. On behalf of the town, we are excited about this venture. It’s going to be good for Pelahatchie and Rankin County.”
“We are committed to investing in this facility, and community,” Menasha Corporation Vice-President Paul Paparicki said. “We’re looking to make (an) investment of $79 million, so that would include the expansion of the plant, as well as strategic equipment that we put in this location. We had a choice of where to put this plant, but we wanted to make this investment in Pelahatchie,” he said. “It’s a great cultural fit, and will grow our relationship with our customers in the South, and provide them with the high-quality products that we produce.”
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