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Meetings held to discuss New Era

While the city of Demopolis waits to hear the final decision from New Era Cap Co. — to close the Demopolis plant or the one in Derby, N.Y. — local leaders are getting together to put forth a strong front for the baseball cap manufacturer.

On Monday, Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson met with Marengo County commissioners Ken Tucker and Freddie Armstead, State Rep. A.J. McCampbell, executive director Debra M. Fox of the Marengo County Economic Development Agency, Demopolis industrial development board chair Mike Marshall and Demopolis City Council member Jack Cooley.

On Tuesday, Grayson, Armstead and State Sen. Bobby Singleton met at Rooster Hall in downtown Demopolis to share ideas brought up at the Monday meeting and to keep Singleton in the proverbial loop.

“This was just to get everybody together on the same page and understand the challenge and the opportunity that we have to try and keep these jobs here and make Demopolis win,” Grayson said.

Like any good game plan, the Demopolis and Marengo County support team of the local plant is keeping its specifics close to the vest, hoping to put together a winning strategy that will bring home a big score for the regional community.

“Industry retention, like all other components of economic development, requires a measure of discretion,” Fox said. “Ultimately, this is a competitive business situation, and our competition is Derby. To reveal specific strategies at this time might be detrimental to Demopolis.

“The State of Alabama, the City of Demopolis and Marengo County have made the retention of the New Era jobs a top priority. All possible steps will be taken toward that outcome.”

Grayson said that negotiations regarding the future of the city’s New Era Caps plant would continue in Demopolis early next month.