Lawrence County Hopes To Draw New Industry Following International Paper Closure
Rumors now fill the air over Lawrence County.
County Commission Chair Prentis Davis says, “Of course, you know, you talk to the people, and they say that IP’s made more money now than they ever have, in the past month. But they’re still closing the doors.”
Once International Paper announced the plant closing, government leaders tried to set up security plans. In the wake of the loss, they set up an ad-hoc committee.
Davis says, “[It’s] mainly to transition to help us forecast what’s going to happen after they officially shut down, we lose all this revenue, and people are looking for jobs.”
Lawrence County wants to capitalize on their experience in the industrial arena. They’ve got a few projects planned to do that.
Davis notes, “You can always point to the Jack Daniels plant and Independence Tube coming. It’s not anywhere close to the magnitude of International Paper, but it still softens the blow.”
The plant itself might fill these skies again, though who knows under what banner. The facility could prove an asset.
Davis speculates, “I’ll be surprised if they tear it down. It just seems like there’s a lot of money on the table for someone not to come in there and do something with it.”
In the void International Paper once filled, rumors and uncertainty now pervade.