Henderson Co. residents look at potential impact of new paper mill, new jobs

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HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) A day after one of the biggest jobs announcements in recent years for both Henderson County and western Kentucky, residents who live near the site of a planned Pratt Industries paper mill and corrugator plant, look closer at the details.

320 jobs are headed to Henderson County over the next several years.

Down the road from where the paper mill and corrugator plant will be built in Henderson County is Old Corydon Road. It has a neighborhood full of homes, and full of opinions of the planned plant.

“I think it’s a great idea. Why not? We need more jobs in this area. People need to be employed,” says Kim Pryor, who lives near the planned site for the new mill.

Many residents say they liked the Pratt Industries paper mill and corrugator plant bringing 320 jobs to the county and the expected $400 million investment. They add the jobs are needed for this part of the county.

“The way they talk, it’s going to be, it’s not going to take them long to get it up and running,” says Bonnie Cooper of Henderson.

Other residents say they’re worried about more traffic both going down the highway, and going down their neighborhood street, but others expect large trucks to stay off Old Corydon. While some nearby residents would like to see the new jobs, there are concerns over what they could potentially smell once the paper mill is up and running.

“When we go through Brunswick, Georgia, they had big paper mills there. You could smell it before we got to it. It was a damp, paper smell,” Cooper says.

“That was back in the early 1960s now. It could be that the paper mill now doesn’t have that smell that covers a wide area. We don’t know,” adds Ronnie Cooper of Henderson.

“I like having the factory, but not the smell. I don’t know what they’ll do. Maybe they’ve got something that can stop the smell,” says Ted Fambrough, who lives near the site.

The paper mill is expected to be ready by 2023 and the corrugator plant will be ready by 2026.

(This story was originally published on July 30, 2021)

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