Nestle Water’s decision to shut down its Red Boiling Springs production plant was unexpected for area officials.
Macon County Mayor Steve Jones says they were not given any advance notice prior to the company closing the facility Tuesday.
“It was a surprise to everyone, I think,” Jones says. “I know geographically, that the trucking was a problem for Nestle on that, from my understanding. I’ve not heard anything official on that… but we’ve got 43 employees over there that will possibly be losing their jobs. Hopefully we can look and see if we can get something back in there.”
Jones says losing a large company in a small community is tough especially after Nestle had been part of Macon County for 15 years.
“Anytime you lose an industry it’s devastating to you because people’s lives are affected and it effects the whole community,” Jones says. “In a small community, everyone knows everyone and you really hate for this to happen to any family, especially in the holiday season for that to come up because it dampens their holiday season.”
Despite the loss, Jones says the county will examine their options while Nestle looks to sell the existing 200,000-square-foot facility.
“Our biggest problem with this is geographic [location] and the highway system,” Jones says. “But if we can get the state to assist us and get a new Highway 10 project started… hopefully that would open up some access to Wilson and Sumner Counties.”
Nestle Waters issued a statement indicating the 43 employees at the Red Boiling Springs plant will receive severance packages and remain on payroll through February.