Upgrade upped to $250M

Published 1:13 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Council OKs additional tax abatement, says it will ‘secure jobs for generations’

What was heralded as great news for the local economy a year ago has gotten even better.

Last April, the Andalusia City Council and the Covington County Commission agreed to abate taxes associated with Shaw Industries $184 million upgrade to equipment at its local facility.

On Tuesday, Shaw officials Ron Fantroy and Carol Carter and Covington County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Rick Clifton asked the Andalusia City Council to approve an additional tax abate for more than $60 million in improvements. The same request will be made to the county commission next week.

“The total project right now is right at $250 million,” Clifton said.

“Better stated, this is a quarter-BILLION dollars plus investment in our community,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “This is an unbelievable investment in our community.”

“They are remaking the plant out there, and implementing latest, most high-tech tools available,” Johnsons said. “This will in effect secure Shaw Industries in our community for a couple of generations

“They will continue to have approximately 1,000 jobs out there, and the additional equipment will make them competitive for a long, long time.”

Shaw officials said in December the project includes construction of new and expanded building assets, and installation of substantial amounts of new manufacturing equipment. The new equipment is expected to be set and operational by mid-2018.

The company is based in Dalton, Ga.

Shaw employs approximately 1,000 associates at Plant 65, which creates fiber used to manufacture carpet.