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Local leaders react to Hyundai announcement

The news that Hyundai will be opening a plant just 35 miles north of Butler County has local leaders of Butler County bubbling with excitement.

"It's a very exciting time," said Mayor Dexter McLendon. "We feel like we have a great opportunity here. This will be very beneficial to the workforce of Butler County in that it will offer some great paying jobs.

"It's going to have quite an impact on our community. We have had some initial contacts from companies who will be spin-off companies of Hyundai, and the way we should look at it is that it is not 2,000 job, it's 6,500 jobs. Because of the proximity of Butler County to the new plant, it will have quite an impact on our economy."

Ricky McLaney, director of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, shared the mayor's excitement. "This is great for our county. It will create traffic for economic developers, for the suppliers and spin-off companies," said McLaney.

"It's going to help Butler County three-fold

it will help those here to get a job at a plant that is only 35 miles away; it will help existing companies like Breed to bring in more business; and it will bring in new companies that are spin-offs and suppliers to Hyundai," said McLaney.

McLendon said that he already has spread the news to several companies, including Nova Cinetech, who has plans for building a movie theater in Greenville, and to some developers.

"This also will have an impact on our economy, and that's very exciting. This will help all residents of Butler County, from retail owners to residents by increasing the tax-base. We have a lot to offer in this area, and we should work on becoming a bedroom community to Montgomery like Millbrook and Prattville. Now, it's really important for us to concentrate on that plan for the service road more than ever," added McLendon.

Butler County Commission Chairman Daniel Robinson also expressed his excitement. "This is just fantastic. I think it is going to have a rippling effect and bring in some satellite companies that may bring anywhere from 400 – 1,000 jobs just from that. We really need it, and it hopefully is going to help companies that are already located here to pick up some more contract work," he said. "We might not be in the center of it all, but we're on the edge, and a lot of times, that's how it all starts."

McLendon said that one of the best things about the company choosing this area to locate the plant is that it will enable more people to stay in the area. "This changes everything and now our kids will be able to stay here because there will be opportunity right up the road. Many of them want to stay in Greenville because it is such a great place to live and now they will be able to do so."

"This has been kept quiet for a long time because we didn't want to compromise the situation," said Robinson. "We just want them to know that they have our support and we hope we have the oppportunity to locate some of the offspring companies here in Butler County."