Folks who live in Courtland can expect to hear some loud booms Saturday morning.
Crews will be demolishing parts of the International Paper mill on County Road 150 in Lawrence County, between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m.
WAAY 31 talked with folks who live in Courtland about what they’d like to see replace the old paper mill.
“When it started, it was a lot of income for the county," Lora Dyer said about the paper mill. "Taxes, and people got jobs.”
Lora Dyar and her husband have lived in Courtland their entire lives and remember when the International Paper mill opened, creating jobs for about 1,200 people.
They also remember when the paper mill closed.
“It just destroyed the town,” Dyar said.
The plant shut its doors in 2014, and crews started working to demolish it in 2017.
It’s now a sight the Dyars say they try to avoid.
“I don’t even like to go that way," Lora Dyar said. "It’s so depressing to think that we had that big plant in this county, and, now, it’s gone and people have left.”
The next step of the demolition process will take place Saturday, as the boiler structure will be imploded.
“That’s the last of it. That’s it. It’s gone," Dyar said.
Now, folks who live in Courtland want to see something bigger and better replace the overgrown mill.
“A department for our youth, because we don’t have anything in this area for our youth," Gina Young said. "And, then, maybe some restaurants to come in and bring revenue in. But, really, something for our children to do.”
“What we’d like to see is an industry that would support this new Toyota-Mazda plant in Huntsville," Lora Dyar's husband added.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office is asking drivers to avoid the area until the demolition is complete.
Officials tell WAAY 31 the demolition will continue until the end of 2019 or early 2020.
WAAY 31 reached out to the Lawrence County Industrial Development Board. They say, currently, there are no future plans for the site.
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