Mardy’s Contracting reopens after fire, but on a much smaller scale

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Mardy’s Contracting is in business again – albeit, on a much smaller scale this time.

When the building it was leasing on First Street was destroyed by fire June 26, the company -which made camouflage clothing, among other items – employed 20 people.

Now, only co-owners Martha Whatley and Judy Cooper and their sons are working at Mardy’s which, for two weeks now, has been housed in Whatley’s shed.

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&uot;We borrowed two sewing machines from (Tallulah-based hunting equipment manufacturer) API,&uot; Cooper said.

For now she and Whatley, assisted by their sons, are sewing camouflage equipment straps for API. &uot;We can only work in the mornings. It gets too hot in the afternoons,&uot;&160;Whatley said with a laugh. As a result, their workdays last from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For now, the scaled-down operations will have to suffice. For one thing, Mardy’s equipment and stock was destroyed in the fire. &uot;We have insurance, but not nearly enough,&uot;&160;Cooper said.

Perhaps more importantly, Mardy’s co-owners are having a difficult time finding a building to lease.

A possible deal to lease the former Kelly’s Kids building recently fell through, Cooper said.

&uot;We’ll still trying to find a building for them,&uot; Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said Tuesday, &uot;but we haven’t found anything yet.&uot;

McGlothin also pointed out that the Town of Ferriday, which owned the building and leased it to Mardy’s, still hasn’t gotten its insurance payment on the building yet.

The Town of Ferriday received a $124,000 state grant and $15,000 grant from Entergy late last year to renovate the Serio Building to house Mardy’s.

When Mardy’s building on First Street burned due to an electrical short, the company had only been in the building for four months. &uot;It’s just frustrating – I&160;don’t know what else to say,&uot; Whatley said.

Previously, the business had been located in a smaller building on Louisiana Avenue.