Many in Killona applaud recycling move
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008
By KEVIN CHIRI
Editor and Publisher
KILLONA — For many towns, the idea of getting a major industry to move into their backyard doesn’t always bring out cheers and marching bands.
But for the tiny town of Killona in St. Charles Parish on the West Bank, it just might.
Southern Recycling, a major industry which had operated in New Orleans on the MRGO waterway, had to find a new place to move its scrap metal operation to, since the MRGO is being closed down by the Corps of Engineers.
Thanks to some proding from River Region officials, and the Port of South Louisiana, the major business has selected a 400 acre site in the little town of Killona.
For that town the move will be bringing as many as 50 quality jobs, that don’t require high-tech training to fill, and Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Joel Chaisson believes that will be a welcome thing for the residents of Killona.
“There are a number of people in that small town who will be very happy to have that company relocate on the Mississippi River there,” he said. “They are going to have a number of good jobs from this, and the fact that Southern Recycling picked our area is a real boost for us.”
The company had considered sites in several other states before deciding to stay in this region.
Southern Recycling is a top metal recycling operation in the Gulf Coast, which established its headquarters in New Orleans in 1900.
The company currently operates a network of full-service recycling facilities from Lake Charles to Tampa, Fla.
“The company recycles large items such as barges, ships—all types of things,” Chaisson said. “The fact that we managed to keep them in Louisiana, and especially that we got them here in the River Region, is really a plus for the state.”
Chaisson said that there has been $75 million in grants approved since Hurricane Katrina to help relocate businesses into the deep waters of the Mississippi, which particularly targeted companies such as Southern Recycling, which were forced to move.
“Companies like Southern have to move since the MRGO is being closed, but they could have chosen to go many different places,” Chaisson said. “We were fortunate to keep them here since we are still waiting for that $75 million to be appropriated. It could still be used to build docks along the Mississippi that could lure businesses to stay in this area.”
He said that Southern Recycling considered Alabama, Mississippi and Texas before deciding to remain in Louisiana.
“I think the company will help us to do even more in that area, including the possibility of a container site,” Chaisson said. “We’re just very pleased that they chose our local site.”