Construction on access road beginning soon

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Persistence of county officials will soon pay off for two local industries.

Large trucks transporting materials to and from Dixie Pellets and International Paper have to wait their turn to enter and exit, causing traffic to stall. A $400,000 grant obtained by Dallas County will provide a solution.

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The narrow two-lane access road leading to Dixie Pellets connects with County Road 78, which is International Paper&8217;s access road. The narrow road is not wide enough for two trucks to pass.

Probate Judge Kim Ballard and County Engineer George E. Jones Jr. appealed to the Industrial Access Board in Montgomery to secure the funds three weeks ago. According to Ballard, there was only $3 million dollars to be awarded by the board for access roads for the entire state.

These funds will be combined with the $500,000 secured in 2006 to pay for the widening of Dixie Pellets&8217; road. The plans are to widen the two-lane road to a three- lane. Ballard said the project should cost around $950,000, according to an estimate from Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. Ballard estimates construction of the road will begin &8220;within the next month or so.&8221;

Construction at Dixie Pellets is ongoing, and the company is operating at one-third capacity with about 50 employees on staff. Production has increased, and the company is expected to be operating at full capacity in May.

The company produces wood pellets, which are used as an alternative fuel in Europe.