Some of the FEMA trailers stored on the land on Highway 43 South in Marion County.
By Josh Mitchell/Informer Publisher
The federal government has paid two Mississippi companies a total of $804,645 for use of land on Highway 43 South in Marion County to store FEMA trailers, according to the General Services Administration.
A company called 23467 Mississippi LLC of Hattiesburg was paid $480,645 by FEMA for use of the approximately 300 acres of land located at 1817 Highway 43 South, Columbia. The company leased the land to FEMA from April 9, 2007 to April 9, 2009.
The land then went under the ownership of Marion Clay & Gravel LLC, which has leased the property to FEMA since April 10, 2009, according to the GSA. To date, FEMA has paid Marion Clay & Gravel LLC $324,000 to store the trailers at the site.
In total, FEMA has paid $804,645 since it started leasing the land, according to the GSA.
It is unclear who owns Marion Clay & Gravel LLC. The Columbia phonebook lists a business address for Marion Clay and Gravel at 1917 Highway 43, Columbia, but a message left at the number was not returned. Likewise, it is unclear who owns 23467 Mississippi LLC.
The Mississippi Secretary of State Office does not require that the owners of LLCs be listed. According to the Secretary of State Web site, Marion Clay & Gravel LLC was created Feb. 23, 2009 and is currently listed in “good standing.”
The Mississippi Secretary of State Web site states that 23467 Mississippi LLC was created Aug. 21, 2006 and is also currently in “good standing.”
Over 9,000 trailers were stored at the Marion County site, but all of the units were purchased by Lubbock, Texas businessman Lance Inderman for $9.1 million in February. Inderman could not be reached for comment to determine what he plans on doing with the trailers.
The trailers were used as temporary housing after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita five years ago. A few months ago, a GSA spokesman told the Informer that the trailers had to be removed from the Marion County site by September.
The government issued over 100,000 FEMA trailers after the hurricanes, and many of the units had significant levels of formaldehyde. As a result of the formaldehyde issue, Inderman had to sign a waiver stating that the trailers he purchased would not be used for housing. Formaldehyde was used to make the wood products in the trailers and is a carcinogen.