Road grant out for Aberdeen port development

ABERDEEN – The Port of Aberdeen won’t be getting an improved road to a proposed biofuels project, Mayor Jim Ballard says.
The city’s $975,000 grant application wasn’t accepted by the Mississippi Development Authority, the mayor reported, saying “adverse” publicity about the project killed its chances with MDA.
He also speculated the loss of the road improvement funds will not affect the alternative energy plant planned by Mississippi Investment Petroleum Co., saying he expects environmental permit approval soon.
But late Monday, Harry Wilson at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said the agency has yet to receive any permit applications from MIPCO for the plant where officials announced they will make fuel from chicken fat and other waste products.
Contacts also went unanswered by MIPCO’s CEO Jon Lunsford of Lilburn, Ga., who told the Daily Journal a few weeks ago that his company plans to expand into the Nettleton facility abandoned when Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc. went bankrupt in March 2006.
Wilson said DEQ has no paperwork on anything in Nettleton, either.
While Melissa Medley at MDA said Monday she couldn’t comment on the application for Community Development Block Grant funds, “many of the applications are turned down,” she noted.
Ballard sounded stoic about the MDA decision. “We don’t need the road,” the mayor said, “We were just going to improve it.
“I feel like we’re on track” with MIPCO, he observed. “It just takes patience.”
When the facility was announced earlier this year, the projected start date was June.
But MIPCO put the Aberdeen plan on hold at the city’s request because the grant application must precede plant construction.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal