Another $100 Million Investment Due at International Paper in Rome
Key support for a $100 million expansion planned at International Paper Co. won quick, unanimous approval from the Rome Floyd Development Authority on Tuesday.
It is the latest in a series of such expansions, including one announced in 2013 and the latest in December 2018. Much like five years ago, International Paper will receive a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement as part of the bond package. As before, the company will pay 25% of its tax bill with 75% abated for the next decade.
The current project mostly will deal with machinery and equipment, Missy Kendrick, president and chief executive officer of the development authority, said.
Chair Jimmy Byars called for the vote following an extended closed session with the motion passing with no additional comment or no votes. State Open Meetings laws allow governments to meet behind closed doors to review litigation, real estate and personnel issues.
International Paper reported second quarter earnings of $235 million on sales of $4.68 billion, both down from the same period last year. Third-quarter financials are due Oct. 26. The company bought the former Temple-Inland mill in 2012.
Also Tuesday, the development authority received several updates on the Battey Business Center, the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital site in West Rome.
Two land sales were approved, including 21 acres and a building to VTI in a deal valued at $1.6 million, and four acres at $160,000 to Lewis Chemical Co.
They represent the first new tenants of the hospital site and likely will purchase additional acreage, says Kendrick.
She also shared some estimates on the costs of continuing the cleanup of existing buildings on the site. A recently completed survey shows it will take up to $5.2 million to get rid of lead paint and asbestos issues. That’s in addition to any demolition costs, Kendrick says.
Heather Seckman, the development authority’s project manager, said additional grants will be sought to help offset some those costs, perhaps as much as $2 million.
The board also was updated on projects involving Synthica Energy and Power Rubber Supply, which each have partnership with the Development Authority of Floyd County or the Gordon-Floyd Joint Development Authority.
Synthica, an Ohio-based company, converts organic industrial byproducts into natural gas. Plans call for a $38.2 million investment over the 10.4 acres involved, creating 15 jobs.
Power Rubber of Alabama plans a $4.2 million campus with work beginning in 2024. It plans to hire up to 20 people..
Members also voted to extend the marketing option of the Huffaker Innovation Gateway for another year at no cost to the authority.
Kendrick also announced attorney Andy Davis will continue to represent the board as he forms a new practice in Rome after decades with Brinson Askew and Berry.