DEMOPOLIS, Ala.  – Plans are underway for the startup of Two Rivers Lumber Co.'s first sawmill, a $65 million investment that will bring 55 jobs initially, and up to 95 jobs eventually, to west Alabama. Two Rivers Lumber is a new operation started by area businessmen Jay McElroy, owner of McElroy Trucking, and Roy Geiger, owner of Sumter Timber.

Construction is set to begin January 2017, with the Demopolis, Alabama-based mill scheduled to begin production in September. When completed, the mill will have an annual capacity of 200 million board feet and produce all sizes of southern yellow pine dimensional lumber for sale throughout the United States.

“We have a long family history in the area, with all our businesses being tied to the southern yellow pine,” McElroy said. “We are very pleased to continue this tradition.”

The mill's name, Two Rivers, is derived from its location which is just south of where the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers come together,  said the news release.

“We are excited about building a new sawmill in west Alabama and what it will mean to local land owners as well as bringing quality manufacturing jobs to the area,” McElroy, added. “Planning began over a year ago and this project would not be possible without support from the City of Demopolis, the State of Alabama, and our lender, Alabama Ag Credit." Bid Group will design and build the sawmill.

Two Rivers Lumber will pay $1,000 a month to rent the land from the city; that amount will increase to $10,000 a month after five years. The company has a 40-year lease on the property, with an option to buy after 20 years, according to westalabamawatchman.com.

Indirect jobs in the forest products industry are also expected to be created to support the operation. “This investment from Two Rivers Lumber Co. will provide well-paying jobs to Alabama citizens and drive economic growth in Marengo County," said Governor Robert Bentley. "Our partnership with the company perfectly aligns with the goals we’ve set to help rural Alabama,” he added.

“The state-of-the-art sawmill being planned by Two Rivers Lumber Co. is precisely the kind of project we had in mind when the Legislature approved enhanced incentives for companies making investments and creating jobs in ‘Targeted Counties’ across Alabama,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.