GP plywood property undergoing salvage operation, plans

By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal

For anyone who had ever visited the Georgia Pacific plywood plant when earplugs were mandatory due to the deafening whir of the equipment, the silence in the present day plant is an eerie quiet like some one has died.

While no one is dead there, the plant is presently in a transformation phase as a large Volvo shearer bearing jaws of steel cuts down areas of equipment and turns it into sellable scrap metal.

When Georgia Pacific notified the city that it would not renew the lease this year for the first time since 1965, the city began the process of working with Georgia Pacific to prepare the site for a future industry. The city and Georgia Pacific worked out to have a third party expedite the liquidation and exit of Georgia Pacific and all the materials on site.

Red Hills Salvage purchased the equipment and inventory at the site and began a lease with the city for 12 months for time to liquidate all the items. “The short term lease will help prepare the property quickly for any marketing opportunities to other industries,” said Louisville Mayor Will Hill.

Red Hills Salvage has begun salvage operations at the site and has about 15 to 20 employees cleaning up the area and preparing items to sell as scrap or to other companies for use. Piles of computers, new and used equipment line several areas o the plant as the salvage workers organize the materials and plan for their sale or scrapping.

“We have hired many local workers and are buying our fuel and other supplies local as much as we can,” said Harold Gordon of Louisville who is a partner in the salvage operations.

The large shearer and welders on site make quick work of lots of the materials and have other equipment and boilers to chew down.

Gordon and his partner plan salvage as much materials and equipment as possible while preparing the site for use in the future by other possible industries.

“I hope they can get another company in here quickly after we complete this work,” said Gordon.

Mayor Hill noted that the site “seems to be on the radar” of other companies looking to relocate.

“This site is one of the best baits we have for economic development,” said Hill. “It is a great location with very marketable attributes.”