Gov. to visit area Friday

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2001

MONTICELLO — The state’s highest official will visit Brookhavenand Monticello Friday to promote education and economicdevelopment.

Governor Ronnie Musgrove will visit West Lincoln AttendanceCenter at 10:30 a.m. Friday. His plans are to visit someclassrooms, tour the school and talk with school officials aboutthe success of the Families First and Prevention/Interventionprograms, which are funded by grants.

The governor will be in Monticello from 1-2 p.m. at the newFoster Millworks plant, formerly the Kellwood Manufacturing CompanyCutting Facility on Highway 84 East, to promote economicdevelopment.

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“He will formally announce a Community Development Block Grantthat is being awarded to Lawrence County to perform infrastructureupgrades to the former Kellwood cutting facility,” said PaulMcLain, director of the Lawrence County Community DevelopmentAssociation.

The $512,894 grant will allow Foster’s to install some neededequipment to make the building operational. The company presentlyemploys about 15 people at their plant on the Lawrence-Lincolncounty line.

The new plant should become operational soon after the upgradesare made. The Monticello plant will create approximately 30 jobsinitially with a goal of 50 within the next three years.

The infrastructure work should be completed “toward thebeginning of 2002” and hiring would start soon afterwards, McLainsaid.

The grant is a “key piece in the puzzle” to help create new jobsin the county to replace those lost with the closure ofKellwood.

“The governor and his staff, along with members of theMississippi congressional delegations and their staffs, have takena very keen interest in efforts to replace the jobs lost in theKellwood shutdown,” McLain said.

The CDA director said the governor will most likely not havemuch time after the presentation to meet with the public, but thepublic is invited to attend the announcement.

In other economic developments issues in which the governor andcongressmen have taken an interest is the opening of AmericanApparels Uniform and Promotional Clothing. That plant will open inKellwood’s main plant on Highway 84 West when all the elements arein place, McLain said. Progress is being made, he added, but it isa slow process.

“A couple of major federal grants for this project are expectedto be formally announced later this fall,” he said.

Saiyed Rabbani, president of American Apparels, is scheduled tobe the featured speaker at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commercegeneral membership meeting at noon Nov. 13 at The Cloverestaurant.

“At that time, he is expected to announce more definite plansregarding the start of the operation and his marketing efforts forthe company,” McLain said.