Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson stated a timber enterprise in Perry can’t keep away from closure.
Nonetheless, the homeowners of the Georgia-Pacific Foley Cellulose Facility stated they might promote the enterprise to another person.
“Whereas Georgia-Pacific can not make the numbers work for his or her company, they’re keen sellers,” Simpson stated. “As a state chief, I might welcome one other investor or firm to return in and take over operations. There are a lot of financial incentives obtainable, and Florida has a wonderful local weather for enterprise. I problem anybody to search out more durable working individuals than these in Taylor and surrounding counties.”
Georgia-Pacific on Monday knowledgeable staff and the general public of plans to shut the mill.
“Numerous elements influenced this troublesome resolution,” reads a information launch. “In the end, GP doesn’t imagine that the mill can competitively serve its prospects in the long run regardless of the numerous investments and dedication by GP Cellulose for the reason that website was acquired in 2013.”
The closure means the lack of 525 jobs within the small group.
Homeowners referred to as the choice a “strategic resolution” made earlier than Hurricane Idalia made landfall within the Large Bend, devastating many companies and householders within the rural area.
Simpson, a Trilby Republican, stated the state had no advance warning on the mill closure.
“I spoke with prime executives at Georgia-Pacific to debate the devastating resolution to shut the Foley Cellulose Facility in Taylor County. Whereas there may be by no means a very good time to lose a serious employer, notably in a rural county, this information couldn’t come at a worse time for households devastated by Hurricane Idalia,” Simpson stated.
However Simpson warned the choice is everlasting.
“The choice is last and can’t be reversed,” he stated. “We weren’t knowledgeable upfront, however I can affirm that there have been no state legal guidelines, rules, or financial situations inside state management that contributed to the shutdown. In accordance with their management, the macroeconomic situations resulted in one other enterprise casualty.”
U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn has raised concerns concerning the timber trade within the Large Bend as Congress debates the Farm Invoice. He slammed the choice to shut the ability.
“This closure impacts 1000’s of my constituents following a devastating hurricane, a time when communities want reliability and stability probably the most,” the Panama Metropolis Republican stated. “What’s much more regarding is that Georgia-Pacific uncared for to provide native leaders ample discover so we are able to assist Taylor County by means of this troublesome time. They should be ashamed.”
Simpson stated he has urged possession of the mill to supply affordable assist to these dropping their jobs.
“To Georgia-Pacific, I’ve requested that they do all they will to help with discovering jobs for the tons of which might be displaced,” Simpson stated. “This won’t solely influence the direct staff, however (additionally) the numerous industries which might be part of the advanced community supporting the operation akin to loggers, truckers, and different important staff.
“I might ask that Georgia-Pacific search for methods to go above and past on severance pay and insurance coverage help. The individuals of Taylor and surrounding counties are hurting and want a glide path.”
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