It’s the time of year again to issue my Annual Progress Report to you, the voters of District One and Grenada County. I am glad to be able to issue what I believe is an outstanding report of the many accomplishments that have occurred during the year.
As most everyone will agree, the biggest news of the year was the announcement of the Milwaukee Tool Manufacturing facility locating in our Business and Technology Park. Current plans call for construction to begin in the Spring of 2022. When completed, this well-known manufacturing facility will encompass approximately 80 acres and will be housed in a 600,000 square foot building. Initial plans call for the employment of approximately 800 employees with additional plans to expand to approximately 1,200 employees thereafter. When this facility is online, our community will be the beneficiary of new families locating here, additional high paying jobs, the need for additional housing, possible expansion of our educational facilities and daycare facilities and much more.
With the promising benefits of our community related to the construction and opening of the Milwaukee Tool facility, our community is very fortunate to have well-established existing industries, which also realize the benefits of our community and are dedicated to continuing investments here as well.
With roots to McQuay and Heatcraft, ADP has been a cornerstone industry in our community for many years and continues to be a worldwide leader in its market. With eyes to a continued bright future for the company and our area, ADP solidified its presence here by expanding an 80,000-square-foot building in the Business and Technology Park to a 288,000 square foot distribution facility. Not only did this move reinforce ADP’s commitment to our area, but it also enabled the industrial leader to regain much-needed manufacturing capabilities at its original location.
Another well-established industrial leader within our community, Hankins Lumber Company, revitalized the old Louisiana-Pacific facility and reopened it earlier this year. In order to accomplish this feat, Hankins Lumber made a $12 million investment for new equipment within the facility. Not only did this investment provide new capabilities for Hankins Lumber, the reopening of this facility with the multi-million dollar investment also provided 100 new jobs within our community. These employees are now buying goods and services from local business establishments.
Another existing business that added to its presence within our community during the year was Nutrien Ag, which is located within our Industrial Park. This industry expanded to a new 40,000-square-foot warehouse and is looking forward to the many possibilities this expansion will enable the company to accomplish.
During last year’s report, we discussed the future expansion of MS Freight from its old location on Hwy. 8 East to its proposed new location in the Business and Technology Park. As this report is being prepared, MS Freight is putting the finishing touches on its new, modern facility. This location encompasses 13 acres and is home to the modern 12,000-square-foot facility. Not only is this a benefit for MS Freight, but it’s also a benefit in alleviating serious traffic congestion at its current location. We look for great possibilities in the future from the locally-owned MS Freight.
One local business that has been a part of our community for only a short period let everyone know of its commitment to our area with the construction of a modern banking facility. Guaranty Bank recently opened its new location on Sunset Drive near the Post Office. Numerous local banking officials with years of personal and corporate banking experience are now employed with this Mississippi-owned business. Guaranty Bank is scheduled to host the official Grand Opening of its new facility on Dec. 6. So far this year, our community has been honored to host 10 Grand Openings within our community. Something real special is happening in Grenada and Grenada County these days!
With the happenings noted above, let me assure you that these excellent developments do not happen by themselves or, for that matter, overnight. A lot of time, hard work, research and numerous meetings have had to take place. Several years ago, your Board of Supervisors assisted with the formation of the Grenada Economic Development District (EDD). From this organization, the Greater Grenada Partnership (GGP) was formed. We have been fortunate to have individuals associated with these organization over the years. One such individual I would like to call out is Matthew Harrison. Matthew and his staff have put in countless hours in the development of mountains of data to field requests about Grenada County and what we have to offer. I am extremely proud of the dedication Matthew and his staff have to the Greater Grenada Partnership and our community!
As a final thought regarding the progress made during the year, work still needs to be done. When businesses expand or new businesses or industries decide to locate to our area, the need immediately presents itself for the planning of future possibilities. These opportunities must be considered and met. Therefore, Matthew and his staff at the GGP have entered into an agreement with Kendig Keast Collaborative to assist in the development of the Grenada Master Plan. Already, two community meetings have been hosted to receive public input concerning some of the things that need to be addressed as we head toward a bright future. I’m sure more community meetings will occur before a Master Plan is adopted.
In closing, let me take this opportunity to personally wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year. We have so much to be thankful for this year as we all prepare for the Christmas season. In your family celebrations, please remember the true reason we celebrate this season: the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Michael Lott represents District 1 on the Grenada County Board of Supervisors. He currently serves as Board President.