02/23/04 — Leak might threaten Mt. Olive plant

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Leak might threaten Mt. Olive plant

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on February 23, 2004 1:57 PM

A state agency has released information on its website about a possible industrial plant in Mount Olive before the deal was completed.

Now Wayne County's economic developers are waiting to see if there will be any repercussions from the leak.

The N.C. Board of Transportation agreed last month to pay $100,000 to assist Southside Fibers Inc. if it should decide to build a new plant in Mount Olive Industrial Park. The $15 million plant would employ 80 people making fiberboard.

That information was posted on DOT's website and published in the Mount Olive Tribune Friday.

Although she could not comment specifically on the company, Joanna Thompson confirmed today that the Economic Development Commission has been working for several months with a prospect for the industrial park, off Old Mount Olive Highway.

"We feel it would be a good match for the community and an excellent addition to the industrial base in Wayne County," said Ms. Thompson, EDC president.

Most companies that work with EDC ask the commission for confidentiality, she said. Sometimes it's needed as EDC seeks grants to help companies with relocation or expansion.

"If too much information about the project is released prematurely, it could jeopardize not only our ability to tap into state funds, it could jeopardize the entire project as well," she said. "I would hate for Mount Olive to lose this opportunity due to an overzealous few."

Plans are to ship 1,000 train carloads of finished product annually, necessitating a rail spurline into the plant site. The line would cost around $200,000, of which DOT would pay $100,000. The company would be responsible for the remaining cost.