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Economic report on county shared

Economic report on county shared

Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:10 pm
By: John Brannon Messenger Staff Reporter

 By JOHN BRANNON Messenger Staff Reporter The unemployment rate in Obion County is the lowest — 9.7 percent — of seven counties in northwest Tennessee. This fact was included in an economic report by Jim Rippy, a member of the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council, to the Obion County Commission Tues-day. “Basically, what we do is assist any projects going on. Retail. Industrial. Tourism,” he said. “Our job is to create jobs.” The commission met at the Obion County Courthouse. Twenty of the county’s 21 commissioners attended. Rippy’s report was one of several items of public business processed by the commission. “We are very fortunate to live in Obion County,” Rippy said as he began his address. “The economic downturn, and a lot of the economic problems, have not affected us as much as in other places.” Unemployment rates of several other counties in this area include: • Weakley, 12.3 percent. • Dyer, 13.4 percent. • Lake, 11 percent. • Gibson, 15 percent. • Carroll, 17.2 percent. • Henry, 13.6 percent. • Fulton County, Ky., 13.3 percent. Here are some highlights of his report: • Williams Sausage near Woodland Mills will begin construction this spring of a 40,000-square-foot expansion. “It will employ over 100 new employees within a three-year period,” Rippy said. “Currently, the plant is producing 40 million pounds of sausage per year. After expansion, it will be able to produce about 65 million pounds per year.” • Kohler Corp. is increasing its workforce by 30. • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant recalled 40 associates who had been laid off. Current production is 26,500 tires a day. Forty-five new hourly workers were hired. Seven salaried workers were 0hired. • The Tyson Foods plant has an annual payroll of $27.5 million, an annual payout of $11.7 million to growers and purchases $15.8 million worth of grain. Of its workforce, 1,108 are team members and 88 are salaried members. Ninety-six positions were added in 2009. • Lennox is relocating its headquarters from California to Tennessee. The move will create 12 new positions in the Union City plant. Also, at the local plant, 56 employees have been hired back. Rippy also briefed the commission about the industrial training center, the Northwest Tennessee Region Industrial Park and tourism. In other public business, the commission: • Approved by unanimous vote a motion to hire two medical investigators — county commissioner Dean Jowers and deputy sheriff David Davis — to assist medical examiner Dr. Kirk Stone. They will respond to situations in which a coroner is needed when Stone is unavailable. Both appointees are certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs). It was stipulated they will be paid $75 per case worked and will be under Stone’s supervision and will be of no liability to the county. • Witnessed the presentation of a plaque commemorating the Union City High School Golden Tornado football team’s winning the Class A state championship. Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire presented the plaque to head coach Darren Bowling, who was accompanied by a trio of players — Stevie Gossett, Josh Nicks and Rance Barnes. • By motion of commissioner Allen Nohsey, chairman of the legislative committee, passed a resolution requesting Tennessee General Assembly to address state laws about disposal of delinquent tax property. “There’s a lot of conflicting laws about it,” he said. “It needs to be uniform throughout the state.” • Received a brief update from Obion County Director of Schools David Huss about a proposal to unite junior high football programs into two teams — a seventh-grade team and an eighth-grade team. The subject was not on the commission’s business agenda but was opened by commissioner Jerry Grady. Huss told Grady he (Huss) believes, in theory, the unification would be a good thing. “However, I realize that community support of our schools is vitally important. Without community support, we wouldn’t have our schools,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to do things we are doing now. “We are just not considering it any more. The only comments we received on it were negative, just a few positive ones. Even though I understand there are several who are disappointed, we are not going to be pursuing (this subject).” Published in The Messenger 1.21.10

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