Lumber mill bringing new jobs to Demopolis

Published 11:50 am Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Demopolis City Council has paved the way for Venti Industrial, LLC to build a chipping saw mill on an industrial site at the port near the Demopolis Airport.
The mill, referred to as Two Rivers Lumber by the council, is planning to hire 55-60 workers to begin operation. Those associated with the project told the council that once those workers are trained and the facility is operational they would increase to two shifts and possibly increase their workforce to 90-110 people. According to an economic impact report presented to the council, the jobs are expected to pay an average of $22 per hour.
During a council meeting on Thursday, the council approved by unanimous vote entering into a lease with Two Rivers Lumber for the property. According to Mayor Mike Grayson, the lease is for 40 years with the mill having the option to purchase after 20 years.
“This is a great day for Demopolis,” Grayson said. “This may be the biggest thing to happen for our community from a development standpoint since 1957 when Gulf States (now WestRock) came here. This company intends to invest $70 million in capital investments in our city. The beauty of it is that these are local people. The profits will stay local and I think that is very important for Demopolis.”
Officials with the mill said that in addition to the direct jobs associated with the mill, other in-direct jobs would be affected in terms of truck drivers and within the logging industry.
The plan for Two Rivers was presented after negotiations with the Demopolis Industrial Development Board.
Officials with Two Rivers said during the meeting that renovations and construction at the site would begin very soon with the goal of being operational by September 2017.
The sawmill will also benefit city and county coffers. The economic report presented to the council estimates that the average annual sales and property tax for the city would be about $217,000 while Marengo County could earn an average of about $167,000.