Allen Morgan, an EDCCC member and co-owner of the Arkadelphia-based timber company Hunter-Wasson, Inc., declined to comment on whether there has been local discussion with Sun Paper, but did shed light on why southern Arkansas would be an ideal location for a paper plant.
"I can't talk about projects that may or may not be ... especially for a city as close as Camden because we wouldn't want them to know what our offer has been," Morgan
"But as a member of the timber industry in Arkansas, I can say that in the last 30 years there have been 1 million acres of commercial timberland added in the state."
explained that, prior to the economic recession, Arkansas timber companies were growing more timber than they were harvesting.
"Clark County lost a huge proportion of the mills that bought our landowners' timber, and as a result of that ... we're growing in excess of what we now cut - about 6 million tons per year - so we would easily provide enough raw materials for one large plant or several smaller plants."
also noted that Arkansas counties with high per capita incomes in the state have a paper mill; Ashdown in Little River County ($15,899) has Domtar, while Crossett in Ashley County ($15,702) has Georgia-Pacific
Other notables include Morrilton in Conway County ($16,056) and Russellville in Pope County ($15,918).
Clark County's per capita income is $14,533, and the per capita income for Ouachita County, which was once home to International Paper
, is $15,118.
"If we were to get a facility of this kind, it would be huge for Clark County," Morgan
still wouldn't say whether the EDCCC has made Sun Paper - or any prospective industry, for that matter - any offers in terms of incentives.
Asked if he
anticipates a big announcement to be made in the coming weeks, he
said, "I sure hope so."