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NORTHEAST Miss. (WCBI)- Lawmakers will meet at the end of the week to talk about what could be a major economic boost to the area. Clay County’s one thousand-acre megasite on the northern edge of West Point is said to be the designated location. That comes less than a year after the new clay County-Lowndes County economic development partnership put together the land options in hopes of attracting something just like this.

State Representative Jeff Smith drafted the bill. Legislators still can’t give many specifics, but the property’s location along busy Highway 45 Alternate between Toyota and Nissan make it attractive.

“All we’re at liberty to say is that the manufacturing plant will be car related. We have Toyota and Nissan. This plant will supply a vital part that goes on those cars,” said Representative Smith.

Smith says the payroll of this plant will top 70 million dollars a year. That will ripple several times throughout the economy.

“This manufacturer will manufacture parts that could far exceed what is needed for Nissan and Toyota. Economic developers will tell you manufacturing dollars will turnover at least 3 times in the community, so that will be $210 million. Every manufacturing job will create 3 support jobs so you can see the multiplier effects is very, very important,” said Representative Smith.

Clay County residents, like Shawn Hannah, say that any job opportunities for their area is a big boost.

” When I heard the news about the possibility of a new industry coming to the area, I was quite excited. West Point really needs something to help give our economy a kick start,” said Hannah.

While Lowndes County has had its share of economic success stories since 2005, it hasn’t had a really big deal in three years. Smith says this changes all that and more.

” We’ve had Kior, we’ve been very blessed to have it, but outside of Kior this is the first big plant we have had here since Severstal,” said Representative Smith.

Smith says he expects the economic development incentives to receive quick and overwhelming support in both the House and Senate. He says it’s also written to help protect taxpayers’ investment and also help build infrastructure in and around West Point to help with potential future projects.


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