Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PIPELINE OF JOBS PVC Pipe Maker Leaving Jacksonville for Baker County

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PIPELINE OF JOBS PVC Pipe Maker Leaving Jacksonville for Baker County

Article excerpt

Baker County has attracted the second-largest PVC pipe

manufacturing plant in the United States to move from

Jacksonville and set up an expanded operation.

River City Plastics Inc. is building a 130,000-square-foot,

$5.6 million plant on a 28-acre site in Sanderson.

"We needed additional space for expansion," said Stafford

McCartney, vice president and general manager of the company,

which has its current plant on Kings Road.

To get the deal, Baker County had to beat a bid from Nassau

County and benefited from the availability of more competitive

rail service and electric rates.

River City imports polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, resin by

railcar from plants in Texas and Louisiana, blends it with other

chemicals and runs the powder through machines that turn out the

pipes used to carry water inside houses, irrigate fields and

protect electrical wiring.

The plant runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and sells

to customers in states east of the Mississippi as well as in

Latin America and the Caribbean, McCartney said.

Most of the company's 80 employees are expected to commute

to the new location 30 miles west, where about 50 new jobs also

will be added, McCartney said.

"This is going to be a boon for Baker County," said Ginger

Barber, executive director of the Baker County Development

Commission, who led the effort to bring River City Plastics to

Sanderson. She was a key player in making the move to Baker

County work, McCartney said.

The new jobs may provide work for some county residents who

now have long drives to work elsewhere.

"About 44 percent of the Baker County work force commutes out

of town, and most of them go to Jacksonville," Barber said. Of

the remaining work force, more than half work in public-sector

jobs.

The new jobs pay an average of $24,000 year, plus about $4,000

a year in benefits, Barber said.

The plant also will pay about $120,000 in property taxes each

year, slightly more that it was paying in Jacksonville, McCartney

said.

By the time Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce officials made a

pitch to keep the plant, River City already had settled on its

Baker County site, McCartney said. …

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