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Foundation work under way for LAEL factory

VIDALIA — Foundation work for the second factory located in Vidalia’s second industrial park is under way.

The building, which will be built by the City of Vidalia, will be leased to Louisiana Elastomer when it is completed.

Camo Construction of Vidalia is completing the basic dirt work being done at the site for approximately $60,000, Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said.

“The reason we went ahead and did that was to make sure we got the foundation started before the river got up and we had seepage issues,” he said.

LAEL announced in late January that it would expand its Vidalia operations by locating in a second facility adjacent to its extant rubber-recycling factory at the intersection of Louisiana 131 and D.A. Biglane Road.

The new facility will manufacture a chemical used in LAEL’s rubber recycling process, a chemical that is currently manufactured in Minnesota and shipped to the Vidalia facility.

As part of a public-private agreement with the company, the City of Vidalia will build the new factory and lease it to LAEL, a lease that over a 20-year period will repay the $2.5 million bond indebtedness the city will take to build the factory, Copeland said.

“At the end of the 20-years they can buy (the factory) from the town for $1,” Copeland said.

Once the lease is signed, which Copeland said should happen late next week, the city will advertise for bids and construction should start within 30-60 days.

“It is going to be a good project for us and it will enhance their production,” Copeland said.

The new factory is expected to create more than 80 new jobs by 2012, according to a statement released at the time of the announcement.

LAEL’s first facility began operations in March 2009.