Shelby visits Butler County

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ADVOCATE STAFF / ANDREW GARNER U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) (center) shakes hands with employees and community members at Coastal Forest Products in Chapman on Monday.

ADVOCATE STAFF / ANDREW GARNER
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) (center) shakes hands with employees and community members at Coastal Forest Products in Chapman on Monday.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., visited a “heartbeat” of the Butler County economy on Monday as part of his statewide tour to promote industry and jobs.

Shelby, along with other dignitaries and officials toured Coastal Forest Products in Georgiana, which manufactures plywood and timber.

Earlier Monday, Shelby visited SABIC Innovative Plastics in Lowndes County.

“It’s good for me to do this,” Shelby said. “I just started (the tour). This is my second day. It’ll take me three to four months to cover the state.”

Coastal Forest Products Vice President of Manufacturing Jim Pattillo guided Shelby on the tour through the heart of the wood-making products facility.

Last July, CFP constructed a 60,000 square feet addition for its driers.

Shelby viewed the expansion from the control room and used that opportunity to ask questions about the company, which runs 24-7.

The senator wanted to know how many are employed at CFP, to which Pattillo said 327 are working in the mill.

Pattillo explained how the driers worked for the plywood and answered other questions from Shelby.

“I’m interested in the people of the United States and Alabama,” Shelby said. “I want you to do well.

“Throughout my time in the United States Senate, I have made it a top priority to visit all 67 counties in Alabama every year,” he said.  “The focus of my statewide travel will be to hear from my constituents about the impact of the Obama Administration’s policies on middle class families, job creation, and economic growth.  I believe these visits are an excellent opportunity for us to discuss the important issues currently facing our state and nation.”

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said CFP is a good representation of the “heart beat” of the county when it comes to economic development.

“It makes a big difference,” McLendon said about the economic development.

Shelby has to return to Washington, D.C. for work on the Senate next week as the 114th Congress continues.

“It was a great opportunity to show the Senator, as well as the rest of the community, what’s been accomplished here,” Pattillo said. “It’s taken a lot of people to put this together.”

Pattillo said a lot of work went into the expansion.