McHENRY, Miss. (WLOX) - Stone County is more known for the timber industry than defense technology, but that could soon change.
Adranos Incorporated is developing a new generation of rocket fuel they think will revolutionize the industry, and they want to do it in McHenry.
“We were looking for a place to go and grow,” said company president and CEO Chris Stoker.
They were looking for a remote site, and the former General Dynamics complex was a perfect fit.
The 640-acre site has seven buildings and was previously leased by General Dynamics for the production of a specialty packing material, foam insulation and armor plating. It has been vacant since 2012.
The Stone County Economic Development Partnership has been looking for a new tenant since they left.
Executive Director Betsy Rowell said she has shown the property to about 80 companies in the last six years but never could find the right fit until now.
“It is just immensely rewarding to have someone finally come in and go the distance to get this property leased,” she said.
Making the deal even better is that the Stone County School District owns the land. This will turn a liability into an asset.
“The lease payments that this company will pay will accrue to the local school district, and that certainly is a good thing,” Rowell said. “Since General Dynamics left in 2012 the district has actually incurred the maintenance costs on the property.”
Rowell said they have been keeping the Board of Supervisors and school board aware of developments.
“We’ve been given the nod to go ahead and work on negotiations with this company, and so far it’s worked well. We’re pretty excited about this,” she said.
The development board will meet Monday to give the project their final approval.
Officials from Adranos will make a presentation to a special joint meeting of the Stone County Board of Supervisors and the Stone County School Board on Aug. 17. The hope is that with support from the economic development board, those two will approve the concept for final lease negotiations.
“Given the approval from those three boards now, we’re good to go,” Rowell said.
Stoker said he has been pleased so far with the negotiations.
“The people of the county have been fantastic,” he said.
The Aug. 17 meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the Stone County Board of Supervisors meeting room.