It hasn't been as busy as usual at the Mississippi Export Railroad Company since several major industries recently closed their doors. That's why company officials say they couldn't put off the idea of a new industrial park any longer.
"We saw it as a need that was not being met, and someone had to do it," Greg Luce with Mississippi Exports said. "We needed customers. We have lost our second and third largest customers off the railroad."
The new park would create more than 1,100 jobs with an annual payroll of almost $25 million. The tax revenue would equal about $2 million, and Moss Point Schools would get $2 million in taxes as well.
"They can come in as a private sector and help government, help the citizens and the tax payers in this county to really keep the economic base going in Jackson County," Jackson County District Two Supervisor Robert Norvel said.
Mississippi Export Railroad has already overcome its first obstacle by getting the zoning for the proposed site changed from agricultural to heavy industrial. Officials say the area is a good fit for industry.
"I think their property had some unique characteristics," Planning Director Michele Bishop said. "It's very close to the Mississippi Power Company generating plant there. Their property also contains of course the Mississippi Export Railroad line as well as the Dustin Pipe Line."
"There's industry out there that needs places like this to locate," Luce said. "This area has many things going for it."
Supervisor Robert Norvel says the proposed park is a major step in getting Jackson County back on its feet.
"There are some things on the burner, and I can tell you right now, that's in conjunction with whatever the Mississippi Export is doing," Norvel said.