The commercial food appliance manufacturer Hobart will close its Richmond Hill plant before the end of 2014, ending a 30-year relationship during which the company was the city’s only industry.
Hobart currently employs just under 50 workers here, but at one point had about 200.
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said he got word of the company’s plans Wednesday when a representative of Illinois Tool Works, Hobart’s parent company, called him and then sent a follow-up email.
“It is happening, but they’re not going to close the plant until the end of the year,” Fowler said. “It’s not going to be like ‘bam’ and they’re gone tomorrow.’”
He called Hobart a "model" company to have in Richmond Hill and said "knowing the company, they'll be very fair to those employees."
The plant will move its operations to Ohio, he said.
Fowler said the city will work with the Development Authority of Bryan County to find another industry.
"We hate to lose them, but we'll work with the Development Authority," he said. "They're aware of what's going on and will work with the city to see what we can do to get a new tenant in there."