ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — The Henry County economy will soon see a boost in job opportunities, thanks to a grant from Gov. Kay Ivey.
The Community Development Block Grant will now invest $850,000 dollars into a timber business in Abbeville, providing at least 105 jobs to residents in the area.
The money, which was given to the Henry County Commission, will “provide transportation construction assistance to ship lumber, timbers and posts produced at the new Abbeville Fiber plant.”
The soon-to-be opened plant, a division of Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc., is set to produce 200,000 feet of finished wood per day. To supply this demand for finished wood, the sawmill will buy around $14-15 million of timber per year.
This, in turn, will improve the market for timber suppliers from a 50-mile radius.
“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.”
The money from the grant will be used to connect Abbeville Fiber, located where the old West Point Stevens textile plant was off of U.S. Highway 431 and State Highway 27, to the main railroad line to the south with a rail spur.
The lumber will then be taken to treatment plants “in the South and along the Eastern Seaboard before making its way to retailers.”
“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.”
For their part, the Henry County Commission and Abbeville’s municipal government committed $160,000 to the project.