House Defeats $10M For Plymouth Plant

Supporters says there's still hope that state lawmakers in Raleigh will approve a $10 million incentive plan for Domtar's Plymouth plant.

The house yesterday narrowly rejected the plan which would help convert the plant from making white office paper to making absorbent fluff used in diapers.

Washington County state representative Tim Spear says the main sticking point appears to be language in the bill that mentions contract employees. He says Domtar doesn't use full-time contract employees, so they're working on getting that language changed before next week's adjournment.

If approved Domtar would have to invest at least $65 million for the conversion and maintain at least 300 full-time employees at their current salary.

Spear says if the $10 million doesn't happen, there is a high probablity that the Plymouth plant could close.

North Carolina legislators are close to giving a Canadian paper company up to $10 million to help switch what it produces and retain hundreds of jobs in one of the state's poorest regions.

A House budget-writing committee on Thursday approved allowing the state Commerce Department to use its funds to give Montreal-based Domtar Corp. up to $2 million a year for five years.

The Senate approved the spending on Wednesday, the same day lawmakers approved a budget that included a $1 billion tax increase and service cuts worth billions more.

Domtar plans to stop making white office paper at its mill near Plymouth, but says it can make money turning loblolly pine trees into the absorbent fluff used in diapers and napkins.

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