Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:53

Sonoco expansion to bring $1M in payroll to Hartselle

By Deangelo McDaniel

HARTSELLE — Sonoco Products Co. plans to start construction immediately on a $4.6 million expansion that will bring 28 jobs and a payroll of more than $1 million to Hartselle.

“We’re planning for September (to complete construction), but we hope it will be faster than that,” Sonoco Manufacturing Director Randy Lusk said Tuesday before the Council unanimously voted to abate all noneducational use, sales and property taxes.

Lusk said a Sonoco plant in Louisiana that manufactured plugs that go in the end of paper cores burned to the ground on Nov. 5.

The company’s Hartselle plant generates about 10 tons of wood shavings used to make the plugs.

“For this reason, it makes sense to rebuild in Hartselle,” Lusk said.

Morgan County Economic Development President Jeremy Nails said once the plant starts making products in the expansion area, the abatements will stop, except for property-tax abatements that could be as long as 10 years.

Nails said the abatement includes $35,000 in sales and use taxes during construction and equipping and $4,494 annually in property taxes.

For education, the expansion will generate $4,462 in sales taxes during construction and almost $10,158 annually in property taxes.

“We’re fortunate in today’s economic times to bring this before you,” Nails told the council Tuesday night.

Council President Kenny Thompson and Mayor Dwight Tankersley commended South Carolina-based Sonoco for bringing the jobs to Hartselle.

“It’s always good when you can get jobs,” Thompson said.

“We desperately need those jobs here,” Tankersley added. “Sonoco has been a great corporate citizen and we’re thankful for them.”

Sonoco purchased Baker Industries in Morgan County in 1980. Lusk said the company currently employs 258 at its location in Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park and 120 at a steel reel plant called Metco.

“We’re ready to get started immediately (on construction),” Lusk said.

The Hartselle expansion will be about 7,000 square feet and start with eight plugging machines. Lusk said they will make three-, six- and 12- and some 16-inch plugs.

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