LP closing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Louisiana-Pacific is closing its Selma operation.

According to Wayne Vardaman, EDA executive director, the closing was based on the lack of sales, which is directly linked to the building industry.

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“It has nothing to do with Selma, the market is just gone,” he said.

Roughly 120 people will lose their jobs in April, according to Probate Judge Kim Ballard. Nine people will remain at the facility until the end of the year to ship out inventory.

LP produces boards used for decks.

“They’ve been very good corporate neighbors,” Ballard said.

According to Vardaman, LP has undergone a $14 million expansion at


Meridian, Ohio plant and the hope is that sales will pick back up and the Selma plant will need to be reopened.

“I think we need to be positive,” Vardaman said. “It’s not necessarily permanent.”

Vardaman also said employees may be offered work at the company’s OSB plant in Clarke County.

LP temporarily closed down at the end of October 2006 and re-opened Feb. 1, 2007 in

hopes of reducing inventory because sales were down.

“LP has a commitment not to only continue in the business, but to grow it,” said plant manager Gary Marlin in October.

“We wish all employees well and we wish LP well that they might be able to (come) back,” Ballard said.

Vardaman and Ballard expressed they are working to bring new industry into the area.

New Gas Concepts announced plans to begin operations in the area by the end of this year, providing 100 jobs.

“We’re working with them daily to get them up and going,” Ballard said.

Ballard also said there are two other prospects looking to come to the county “that may soften the blow” of losing LP.

“There are some good things on the horizon,” Ballard said.