New industry coming to LaFayette

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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More industry will be moving into Chambers County in the form of Haywood Forest Products, which announced plans to open a new manufacturing plant on Tuesday. The plant will be located at the intersection of MLK Road and the Highway 50 bypass in LaFayette. 

The plant will manufacture strong industrial wood used for the rail and crosstie manufacturing process. The LaFayette City Council approved a tax abatement for the sales and use tax while construction is ongoing and a 10-year ad valorem property tax abatement. 

“On behalf of the city of LaFayette, I want to welcome Haywood Forest Products to our community and sincerely thank them for choosing our great city to locate their plant,” said LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines in a press release from the Chambers County Development Authority. “This company could have gone anywhere to start their operation, and for a city of our size to land this is truly a blessing. This is going to have a tremendous impact on our community and on our citizens and give LaFayette something new to be proud of. I want to thank the Roses for their commitment to LaFayette and thanks to the CCDA for a job well done on this project.” 

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Haywood Forest Products is a family-owned Alabama forestry and lumber manufacturing company. The project is a partnership between the city, the Chambers County Development Authority, the Chambers County Commission and Haywood Forest Products. 

Chambers County Development Authority Director Chris Busby met with the LaFayette City Council on Monday night to discuss the tax abatement. While there, he said the company plans to hire 25 manufacturing employees initially. The estimated capital investment at this time is $2,155,000, though Busby said this number may fluctuate as the project gets underway.

The estimated amount of sales tax the city will receive is $9,750, and the average property tax collection that the county and the city will receive in total will be $7,136.50 per year. 

At the next county commission meeting, Busby will seek approval from the county commission. The next steps will be to finalize approval from the company and move forward with the project.

According to the press release, the plant will have a new “MIT true lumber ban mill, gang and edger in a multi-building facility comprised of an estimated 60,000 square feet.” 

The plant in LaFayette will serve treating plants in Alabama and Georgia initially for cross ties. It has plans to expand into the hardwood pallet components, assembly and sales, which will increase employment opportunities across the facility. Busby said this plant will open up new industries in the county because no other manufacturers offer the same hardwood products.

“We’re very pleased to announce the future plans in LaFayette,” says Chris Rose, CEO of  Haywood Forest Products, in the CCDA press release. “This is not only an opportunity to bring more jobs to the area,  but it also allows us to further expand our manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing needs of Alabama and Georgia in the pallet industry.”