The Copiah County Board of Supervisors met with officials from DG Foods, a chicken processing plant in Gallman, to discuss a new project DG is undertaking in 2010.
DG Foods has agreed to work with Bar S, a nationally known brand. Bar S wants to supply raw meats to its processing plants.
“They’ve never been in that business before, so they don’t have a plant to put it in,” explained Duffy McKenzie of DG Foods. Under the agreement between the two companies, Bar S will put this new project in the DG Foods plant at Gallman.
The project will involve a $2.3 million combined investment and will bring about 30 new employees into the DG operation. The project will probably get off the ground in January.
DG Foods has signed a five year contract with two additional five year options. They expect about 60 loads of raw product a week to come into the plant. Forty loads of finished product will be shipped to Bar S processing plants and the remaining 20 will go elsewhere.
Because the project is such a serious endeavor for Bar S, the company asked for assurances that they could continue their operation if DG Foods fails or goes out of business. McKenzie explained that Bar S contracts their supplies over a year in advance and need assurance they will have a place to continue processing in the worst case scenario.
The board approved a conditional lease assignment agreement with Bar S and DG Foods which will allow Bar S to continue to operate out of the DG building for up to two years in the event of DG Foods’ failure. During that two year period, Bar S could negotiate a new lease with the county or purchase of the building to continue their operations.
Although times were tough for DG earlier this year when one of their biggest customers declared bankruptcy, the company has since recovered.
The scale of the Bar S project will be enough to keep DG Foods in operation even if it is the only business they have, McKenzie told the county board. “We would still be able to keep the doors open,” McKenzie said. “We’d have fewer employees, but we would still be there.”
After the DG Foods representatives left the meeting, the board met with the county engineer and water and sewer manager to discuss the impact the Bar S project will have on the industrial park’s wastewater plant. The county will have to put the aerated lagoon in operation to handle the increased load.
They discussed refurbishing the old treatment plant and possibly installing a soda ash feeder.
The board authorized up to $2000 toward expenses to bring in a consultant from Lakeside, the manufacturer of the old treatment plant, to make recommendations about what will be required to put the plant back in action.
Whatever the cost of repairing the plant, the board agreed it would be cheaper than getting into trouble with DEQ again.
The board discussed personnel in executive session for over an hour. Upon returning to open session, it was announced that an employee had been terminated.
Sandra Sullivan was hired in the county administrator’s office as payroll and cash receipts clerk.
Reimbursement to the City of Hazlehurst was authorized for the cost of tactical team uniforms.
The sheriff received permission to purchase a 2005 Crown Vic from the Department of Public Safety for $2475.
The septic tank at the fairgrounds has been pumped out and other repairs are being considered to improve the sanitation problems there.
J & M Drive off Highway 51 between Martinsville and Wesson was officially named and added to the road registry as a private lane.
Pianist George Winston will perform a benefit concert for the Robert Johnson House on November 16 at Belhaven College. More details will be announced later. The board authorized the rental of the concert hall.
The pens made from the scrap wood from the Johnson House will be available for purchase soon through the House’s website.
The Chamber of Commerce was authorized to use the courthouse and grounds for Veterans Day services November 11.
The board adjourned for the month. The next meeting will be Monday, November 2, at 9 a.m.