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Natchez mayor: Titan Tire plant to remain open to industrial prospects

NATCHEZ — City officials have backed off a plan to utilize the the former Titan Tire plant as a workforce development center to keep the plant available for potential industrial prospects, said Dan Gibson, Natchez mayor Dan Gibson.

Gibson’s comments came during a Tuesday special-called meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The plant, which includes a 35-acre lot and an abandoned three-story factory, has not been in service since 2001.

The city has since sought a buyer for the property.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board unanimously approved a partnership with the Adams County Board of Supervisors, Natchez-Adams School District and Copiah Lincoln Community College for a workforce development program.

In recent months, Gibson presented the idea of housing a workforce development education center at the former tire plant.

However, Gibson said Tuesday the proposed location of the program has shifted to area schools so that the plant could be left open for industrial prospects.

“We are very hopeful that we have some industrial prospects interested in that plant and that sometime in the future it can be a place where we can have new employment and new industry,” Gibson said. “We’re now looking at a secondary strategy that involves a partnership with the school district and community college and I believe in the long run this will prove to be a better strategy.”

Gibson said he met Monday with Adams County Board of Supervisor’s president Ricky Gray; Supervisor Angela Hutchins, Natchez Alderwoman Valencia Hall; Sandra Barnes who is the vice president of Copiah Lincoln Community College’s Natchez Campus; and Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Fred Butcher to discuss organizing a volunteer workforce development task force.

The task force would explore the areas needs and coordinate efforts to identify funds for the program, Gibson said, adding Tuesday’s action does not include any financial commitments from the city.

“We approve of the idea of a workforce development program and are not committing to anything beyond that today,” Gibson said in Tuesday’s meeting.

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