By BOB PALMER,
Jefferson Economic Development Corporation and Queen Wood Products of Allendale, S.C. have reached an agreement to bring a new manufacturing facility to Marion County, principles for both parties confirm.
The plant employing 15 will be located on JEDCO land fronting FM 881. “We need to get paperwork finalized and then start on construction,” Skip Queen, president of Queen Wood Products, said Wednesday. Bob Avery, JEDCO president, confirmed the local organization offered Queen up to 12 acres for the new plant.
“We will be the first lien holder,” Avery said. “Each year they have the agreed number of employees, we will forgive one-fifth of the debt.” JEDCO will also bring a water line to the property.
“We manufacture horse bedding,” Queen said. “We have a plant in South Carolina and
have been in business since 1997.” Queen Wood Products will buy wood from two local sources, a mill in New Boston and one in Hurndon. The chips will be brought into the Jefferson plant, processed, bagged and then shipped. “You see it at feed stores and Tractor Supply,” Queen said. “The reason we chose this area is the pine belt. That’s the wood we need.” Queen plans to serve the horse population in Texas and the region.
“We will also service race tracks in Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma,” Queen said. Queen plans a 36,000 square-foot building. Fully equipped, the plant will be valued at a little more than $1.5 million.
“We will be hiring locally,” Queen said. “The manager works for me now and will move to Jefferson. Everyone else will be hired locally.” Queen said most of laborers, depending
on qualifications, will earn around $14 hour.
“That’s something pretty nice to bring to this area,” Avery observed.
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