Wadley plant purchase could restore local economy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

East Alabama

Wadley plant purchase could restore local economy

September 23, 2009

By Chris Vessell bio | email | twitter

WADLEY, AL (WTVM) - The livelihood of a small East Alabama town is being restored in a story we first told you about in July. Plantation patterns - Wadley's only manufacturer is being taken over by an Atlanta-based company.

For years, more than 500 of Wadley's 650 residents have worked for Plantation Patterns for years. "One day your working the next day your not," said one former employee. So when the outdoor furniture manufacturer announced it would be closing back in July, it was hard news to take in.

"We were dying on the vine, so to speak. The general economy down-turned and then we lose 500 employees - it's just devastating to the economy," Mayor Jim Dabbs said.

Dabbs says Southern Sales and Marketing Group, Inc purchased the plant on Friday. The plant could be back on line as soon as October 15th, rehiring hundreds of employees, according to the mayor. "They're projecting they'll have 200 initially, and then by the end of the third teen they would have 500 hundred," Dabbs said.

It's some much-needed good news for the town. Like many cities, Wadely has been operating on a shoe-string budget. The city was recently forced to close their Senior Citizens Center. Tax revenues in Wadley were down by 10% in 2009.

"It will provide our town with a lot of extra income from sales tax," said Lynn Adams, a city council member and business owner. With the recent purchase Plantation Patterns, business owners are now hopeful that Wadley's economy will be restored.

Newsom says her business and others rely on the plant to bring in customers. "It sustains many things - our service stations, our cafes, our convenient stores, all are served by this, which in turn serves other people. Our business relies on these people," said Newsom.

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