A new industry could be developing rocket motors in Stone County as soon as next year if approved by elected officials.
The Stone County Economic Development Partnership presented the Board of Supervisors with the information regarding the company at the board meeting on Monday, August 3.
EDP Executive Director Betsy Rowell said Adranos, Inc found Stone County and want to get settled here soon.
The company is working with the EDP and the Stone County School District as it finalizes an agreement.
If approved by the Board of Supervisors and the Stone County School District, the revolutionary company would lease the property that formerly housed General Dynamics from 2002 until 2012.
Since the property is on 16th section land, Adranos would lease the buildings from the school district, which increases revenue for the schools and takes away the burden of providing costly maintenance.
The site housed innovative military weapons and protective gear design for several years. During the active years, Stone County was named one of America's best places for development by the Trade and Industry Development Magazine, according to a 2012 news report by WLOX.
Rowell said she has shown the property to potential developers around 50 times. While several deals were very promising, the buildings have been mostly vacant since General Dynamics relocated.
Rowell said Adranos, Inc. identified Stone County as a potential site over the summer and wants to move in by September 1 at the earliest.
She said two company employees have houses under contract in the area and, over time, the company would provide as many as 50 jobs in the area.
The company has been awarded several million dollars in military contracts already. They want to continue the work at the new site, so they will develop and test their rocket motors and propellor technology at a to-be-built test site.
Rowell said she is excited that Adranos may attract many other high-paying industries to the area as well.
Engineer Jon Bond said although the company plans to test rockets, they will not leave the ground. The tests are simply for research.
Rowell said the EDP will vote on moving forward at their next meeting on August 10.
The next step in getting the company here is holding a joint public hearing on August 17.
The board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing at the next regular meeting on August 17 where, Rowell says, the president of the company will be present to answer any concerns the community may have.
Later that day, Rowell and Bond presented to the School County School Board where members voted to host a joint hearing.
The board agreed to help provide some maintenance and labor to help ready the property for Adranos in the near future.
“We want to see some jobs for sure,” Board President Lance Pearson said.
The board also:
• Approved two new hires, one transfer, and one resignation from the Stone County Sheriff’s Department and the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility.
• Approved the purchase for new security cameras at the SCRCF for $11,182.
• Approved the Tax Assessor's office contract with Atlas Geographic Data for technical support at $3,600 per year.
• Approved the final property tax exemptions for Hood Industries and Dunn Paper of Wiggins at $2,178,953 and $4,052,000, respectively. These exemptions adjust the property values that taxes calculated and paid on. They are not tax deductions.
• Approved request to solicit quotes on radio tower installation.
• Discussed garbage and county road designation with K.C. Hightower and Wynn Alexander.
• Agreed to consider providing support to fix drainage and erosion problems near East Border Avenue.