THOMSON - A new industry could bring 35 jobs to McDuffie County in the next few months.
Pelzer Acoustic Products, LLC, will move into a vacant factory building in east Thomson. The plant will be a sister company to HP Pelzer, an automotive-accessories manufacturer already in McDuffie. The new plant will make air filters for the Ford F-150 pickup and other vehicles, officials said.
"This is a good indication that the (Pelzer) company is happy in this community. It thinks well of the employment base here," said Riley Stamey, the chairman of the Industrial Development Authority. "For us here in Thomson and McDuffie County, we've got a lot to look forward to because we've got some positive things happening."
City and county officials agreed last week to loan Pelzer officials $400,000 - $175,000 from a revolving development loan fund administered by the county and $225,000 from a similar account administered by the local development authority.
Also, the city and county will jointly file for an additional state loan of $340,000 for the company.
Local leaders hope the plant will help foster a revitalization of the area around the long-closed Thomson Co. buildings in Thomson.
"This is the seed we want in that area," said Don Powers, the executive director of Forward McDuffie. "When we get a factory up and running there, people will look at that area differently."
Officials hope to turn the area along Railroad Street, Greenway Street and other points east of Main Street and around the old Thomson Co. complex into a "redevelopment zone."
Officials also plan to apply for a state community development block grant to help pay for the cleanup work.