Mississippi offers $30 million to keep their Cooper plant open - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mississippi offers $30 million to keep their Cooper plant open

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

December 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia and Albany officials have already presented their incentive packages in Findlay, Ohio to keep Albany's Cooper Tire and Rubber Company plant open. And now it is just a waiting game.

"We are working very closely with our local plant to make sure that we are doing everything from a state and local perspective to make sure they are successful," said Vice President of the Economic Development Commission, Andrea Schruijer.

Mississippi officials are proposing a $30-million financial incentive package to keep the Tupelo plant open.

"One of the most distinct parameters that was set up early between Cooper in Findlay in the corporate offices is that we not discuss the packages from the four communities. We can not get into the details until after they have literally completed their study," said Dougherty County Commission Chairman, Jeff Sinyard.

"I can not really comment on the Tupelo package. I don't know what that package entails or what the details of it are, but I can tell you from the state and the community perspective we are proud of the package that we put together and feel very confident in it," said Schruijer.

Findlay, Ohio and Texarkana, Arkansas are among the other plants Cooper is considering closing. "The only thing I can say is that our offer is very, very competitive. But we can't get into the details at the request of Cooper," said Sinyard.

And even the community has rallied around the plant in Albany with their "I love Cooper" campaign. "I think it plays a very important role in knowing that the community feels supportive and for the employees to know how appreciative we feel of the employees," said Schruijer.

"At the end of the day it's all about how you can produce a tire in the most effective and least expensive way while increasing the bottom line," said Sinyard. But they hope the campaign, in addition to their incentive package, will be enough to keep Cooper in Southwest Georgia.

All incentive packages were due to Cooper officials December 1st, and they hope to make their decision by January 19th.

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