Bush Hog consolidates local facilities

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

In an attempt to salvage its operation and local jobs, Bush Hog is opting to put $11 million dollars into consolidating the Selfield and downtown facilities.

The company, which claims to be the world&8217;s largest manufacturer of agricultural rotary cutters, plans to upgrade its operation on Griffin Ave. making it more efficient and use that strategy as a basis to grow.

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These changes, already in progress, are slated be completed by April or May 2008.

The company has been losing money for years now said Dennis Webster, president and CEO,

The upgrades would include

fixing the leaking roof, improving indoor lighting, employee training, new software and adding a new conveyor system, among other projects.

The alternative, moving the operation to Selfield Industrial Park, would have called for expansion of that facility, cost the company $16 million, and would have taken six months longer to complete, said Webster.

The project will also call for the partial closing of Vine and Plant Streets, and the creation of a new street to accommodate the increase of commercial truck traffic.

While that may sound like a logical enough solution, Selma residents seem to be on both sides of the fence about the decision.

Some residents are concerned that they will be blocked in, making it more difficult for emergency responders to get to them.

Vivian and Kurt Marks, residents of Griffin Avenue, shared the same sentiments. The closing off Plant and Vine would put them at the dead end of their street.

Helen Street resident Marion Ross Jr. said he thought the plan was a good idea.