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Industry ready to invest in Concordia Parish, Vidalia Port

VIDALIA — Vidalia may put its port to work early.

An agricultural business is preparing to announce plans to build a $130 million facility in Vidalia.

Concordia Parish Economic Development Director Heather Malone said she couldn’t release the name or type of business because of a confidentiality agreement, but stressed the importance of the investment.

“This is a big investment, especially for a community the size of Vidalia,” Malone said. “The company is waiting on some regulations to be finalized before making an official announcement.”

No timeline has been set for construction to begin, Malone said.

Malone said the company is expected to bring in 70 contractors, paid a healthy wage, to work at the facility. She projected 120 people would be indirectly employed by the facility.

“The indirectly employed will work in construction and as truckers for the facility,” she said. “Other companies in the area might have to bump up their wages, too.”

The business plans to build in Vidalia’s second industrial complex, sandwiched between the Vidalia port and the Concordia Parish Airport, Malone said.

She said the business’ investment played a pivotal role in securing $10 million in capital outlay funds to further construction on the port.

“We told the state about the investment to try and make sure we were able to secure the capital outlay funds,” Malone said. “This isn’t just going to have an impact in Vidalia. It is going to help the whole region, on both sides.”

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland agreed with Malone’s assessment.

“We are a city on the move,” Copeland said when discussing the 2013-2014 budget. “This investment is going to be a huge boost to our economy.”