MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Governor’s Office) -- An $850,000 grant awarded by Gov. Kay Ivey will boost Alabama’s timber industry and provide jobs in the city of Abbeville for at least 105 people.
Abbeville Fiber, February 12, 2019 (Source: WTVY)
The Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Henry County Commission will provide transportation construction assistance to ship lumber, timbers and posts produced at the new Abbeville Fiber plant. The opening of Abbeville Fiber is also expected to expand the need for timber in southeast Alabama resulting in additional jobs in the forest industry.
“As we have seen during my administration, Alabama’s timber industry is at full throttle,” Ivey said. “It has been my experience that a big demand for wood is an indication of confidence in the economy, and that confidence leads to growth in housing and business in general. I am pleased to support this project to provide timber-industry jobs in Abbeville and Henry County.”
Abbeville Fiber, a part of Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., will occupy the former West Point Stevens textile plant off U.S. Highway 431 and Alabama Highway 27. The sawmill will have the capacity to produce 200,000 feet a day of finished wood and will purchase an estimated $14 million to $15 million of yellow pine timber annually from suppliers within a 50-mile radius of the plant.
The CDBG funds will be used to construct a rail spur connecting the plant with the main railroad line to the south. The cut and sized lumber will be moved by rail to treatment plants in the South and along the Eastern Seaboard before making its way to retailers.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Gov. Ivey is committed to helping create new jobs in Alabama and ensuring that the state grows and prospers,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join with Gov. Ivey and assist in this venture.”
The Henry County Commission and the city of Abbeville have pledged a total of $160,000 for the project.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.