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|Medical Device Maker to Build Plant at Old Canton IH Site
|The site an International Harvester plant in Fulton County once sat on will finally occupy a manufacturer, 25-years after that company left the community.
Officials in Canton Thursday announced that Bloomington, Indiana-based Cook Medical will build a 45,000 square foot, $5.5 million plant on part of the old IH site.
The announcement was made at a church across from the site,where local residents and state officials stood and cheered when the formal announcement was made.
Canton Mayor Kevin Meade says the building of the medical device-maker's plant is quite a reversal of fortune for his city.
"For 25 years, we have been bypassed, not only by a four-lane highway, but we've been bypassed by economic development and growth as the rest of the nation has prospered," Meade said. "Now, it's ironic that we are prospering while the nation is going the other way."
International Harvester closed the Canton plant in 1983. State records indicate the property had some other uses before being destroyed in an alleged arson in 1997.
Cook Medical's founder, Bill Cook, is a native of Canton, and says it was either a site in Mississippi or Canton for the new plant, and says he thought Canton might be a better place.
Cook says the facility will only employ about 75 people to start next Fall, but will expand to 300 within a couple of years.
The state is kicking in a total of nearly $4 million for either the plant or infrastructure improvements around it.
(Officials ceremonially break ground on construction of the Cook Medical plant in Canton.)
(An artist's rendering of what the new plant will look like.)
(Cook Medical Canton will build on part of the site of the old International Harvester plant. WGIL News story and photos by Will Stevenson.)
|12 11 08 by Newsroom
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