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Fort Deposit council hears new facility proposal

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Fort Deposit Town Council heard a proposal to help locate a manufacturing facility for a bug catching device within the town Monday night.

Arto Pryor Jr. of Education News Network/Education Engineering of Pensacola, Fla. appeared before the council to announce that he is looking for a city to assist in generating the funds to produce “a new and environmentally friendly Bug Tube.”

Pryor said his company is a minority owned technology and media company that has been in business for 10 years. The product Pryor said he wants to manufacture is a “Bug Tube” with an insect trapping glue inside and a baited scent.

What Pryor said he wants is for the town of Fort Deposit to help make applications for grant money and assistance. “You are only using money that you are entitled to, and if you don’t use it, someone else it going to get it,” said Pryor.

He said the company would start by selling the tubes in the state of Florida. And he said it is looking to employ 35 to 50 people, not counting office personnel, at one time with the potential to grow.

“The focus of the whole economic world will be on Fort Deposit,” said Pryor.

He also said, “In this recession there’s not too many people engaged in another mass production of anything.”

Pryor said, “We want to set a blueprint for the rest of the nation… Whatever we do here is going to be a blueprint for probably four other locations.”

He said he selected Fort Deposit because it is centrally located with a major highway. He also said his parents were from Alabama, and he felt like he is bringing something back.

“Do what you can do,” Pryor said when asked what he expected from Fort Deposit. He said that includes “accessing government (state, federal and local) assets that you are already entitled to because you will have a project that you can submit the paperwork (for) and receive those funds that are due you.”

Pryor said his company would access loan programs and other investors to make this work.

“The manufacturing, packaging and storage of the Bug Tue will create jobs in Fort Deposit and showcase Lowndes County as having an advantage for other companies to place their investment dollars,” Pryor wrote in a communication to Fort Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain.

Fountain pointed out that Fort Deposit is a renewal community and is an enterprise zone.

The council took no action on the proposal, but Pryor left information with the council and community leaders.

The council approved the minutes of its March 14 meeting, received a police report from acting Police Chief Brandon Thomas, and approved participation in Enforcement Day.

A report on a sewerage project to the interstate plan, a redistricting report, and a public hearing with Merchant Capital were all postponed.

Present for the meeting were Fountain and Council members Darrell Heartsill, Irish Simmons and Jaqulyn Boone. Absent were Council members Elbert Means and Chad Gravely.