Love’s Truck Stop gives county another $25,000 as delay continues

Published 8:00 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

Construction on the proposed truck stop at the Ceres Industrial Park still has not begun, but Warren County is receiving money from the project.

For a second time, developers of the Love’s Truck Stop asked for an extension to their contract on purchasing 20 acres of land at the industrial site.

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Pablo Diaz, president and CEO of the Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Partnership, told the Warren County Board of Supervisors during their regular Monday morning meeting the additional extension will mean a transfer of an additional $25,000 from the developers to the county.

“The original contract provides for an automatic 30-day extension if they want to take it at a cost of $12,500 for the 30-day period,” Diaz told the board. “And with this new extension, they will be transferring an additional $25,000 to the county and move the extension period to Oct. 5.”

County attorney Blake Teller added that the developers are also increasing their earnest money deposit by $5,000 to keep to keep a minimum balance of $12,500 in their escrow account “if they have to have another extension.”

“This will mean the county gets $25,000 more non-refundable from the escrow,” Teller said.

The county received $12,500 when the developers asked for and were given an extension in July.

The hold up on construction apparently is a traffic study the developers are working on with the Mississippi Department of Transportation. According to Diaz, the developers are waiting on MDOT to finish their review of a traffic study before they can proceed with purchasing and developing the site.

In February, the supervisors approved the potential sale of land at the industrial park for the creation of a Love’s Travel Stop.

Diaz said at the time it was a $10 million-plus investment and potentially create up to 50 new jobs and include a restaurant.

There are currently 14 Love’s Travel Stops in Mississippi and more than 450 in 41 states.

IP gets Gozone bonds

Also during their Monday meeting, the supervisors agreed to the issuance of 2018 GOZONE revenue refunding bonds in the amount of $70 million for International Paper Company following a public hearing where there were no objections.

July 2, the board passed a resolution declaring the intent to issue revenue refunding bonds up to $70 million “for refinancing costs to acquire, construct, install, equip and renovate the IP mill in Warren County.”

Teller said the bond does not have any bearing on the debt limitations of the county and does not count against the county’s ability to issue bonds.

The board also approved entering into an interlocal agreement with the city of Vicksburg for FY2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Award.

Randy Lewis with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department told the board local law enforcement has received this JAG award multiple times and the $20,000 would be split with the county and city for the use of traffic safety equipment.

The board recessed until their next regular meeting Aug. 20, at 9 a.m. in their boardroom on the third floor of the Warren County Courthouse.