County approves $50,000 payment

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Butler County Commission approved a $50,000 payment to the City of Greenville to assist with the purchase of the former WestPoint Home building.

The 300,000 square foot building will serve as the home for Ozark Materials, LLC, which announced in May that it will establish a production facility in Greenville.

The plant, which will initially create 40 jobs, will be located in the former WestPoint Home facility and will produce thermoplastic.

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Thermoplastic is a polymer that becomes pliable or moldable at a specific temperature, and returns to a solid state upon cooling. The material is used to stripe roads across the state.

Commissioner Frank Hickman said that the idea of turning a previously unused asset into a means of creating new jobs was a purely collaborative effort from everyone involved.

“The Butler County Commission is very pleased with how this all came together,” Hickman said. “And it only happened because of the efforts of the City of Greenville and Mayor (Dexter) McLendon, and the willingness of everyone to work together for the good of the community.”

WestPoint Home occupied the building for 12 years before it closed its manufacturing plant in Greenville in 2011 and moved its plant operations to Chipley, Fla. At the time of its closing the plant employed 120 full-time employees and 60 temporary workers.

The building was formerly home to Rheem Manufacturing. Rheem Manufacturing shuttered the doors to its Greenville plant in 1999.

The City of Greenville purchased the building in February for $750,000, and later transferred the building to the Industrial Development Board of the City of Greenville.

In May, the Greenville City Council voted to approve a deal that would allow the company to lease the building with an option to buy for $600,000.

The lease agreement extends 10 years, and covers the building and the land inside the fence that surrounds the property.

Mayor Dexter McLendon said the city has also agreed to sell approximately 15 acres of the property located outside of the fence to AIA Recycling.

McLendon said the city will be responsible for paying off the remainder of the loan after receiving the $600,000 from Ozark Materials, the $50,000 from the Butler County Commission and the purchase price of the land it sells to AIA Recycling.