Grenada sawmill to reopen after 15-month closure

By The Associated Press

GRENADA — Hankins Lumber Co. is reopening its sawmill after a 15-month closure, hiring 120 people.

President Al Hankins says Monday that an improving housing market and higher demand for lumber means the Grenada company can make money again.

The company will invest $1.5 million in reopening. Hankins says it hopes to hire many former employees who were laid off.

The Mississippi Development Authority will give the company $358,000 to rehabilitate a railroad spur. Grenada County will give nearly $40,000 toward the rail project.

Wood products newsletter Random Lengths says lumber prices nationwide have averaged 36 percent higher in the first five months of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, according to its measures. Higher prices have led lumber mills to increase production, and some idled mills have restarted operations.