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Whitehall plant deal ‘not dead’

by Ryan R Rees

Last Tuesday’s deadline for a decision by Whitehall Industries of Michigan to open an aluminum extrusion plant in Ellijay passed without a definitive decision.
The Economic Development Authority approved an inducement resolution Sept. 18 that would ensure the $10 million plant and a possible 60 jobs initially could move forward. Whitehall had until last Tuesday to accept the resolution and move forward.
“It’s not dead in the water,” said Herman Clark, legal counsel for the EDA.
“We may have to extend the resolution, which I would recommend. We’ve gone this far with them,” he said.
Mike Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Realty, which is handling the building sale, said there were complications in Whitehall obtaining a $2.4 million extrusion stamping press being offered in foreclosure that was part of the financing package. 
“They (Whitehall) are looking at financing a new machine and could have a decision by the end of this week or the middle of next week,” Kirkpatrick said.
“The deal is not dead by any means,” he added.
EDA officials said earlier that the plant could initially create 50-60 new jobs and as many as 200 within five years.
The proposed plant would be located in a 107,300 square foot facility formerly used by Blue Ridge Carpets on Victory Circle.
Whitehall makes aluminum extrusion products mainly for the auto industry. It currently has two Michigan locations and one in Mexico.

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