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Lunsford working to bring new business into Troy

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford has been busy in recent days negotiating with several companies and business leaders from around the world. Eager to attract jobs and boost the local economy, Lunsford said he hopes to convince the businesses to locate in Troy.

Though unable to provide details of the current conversations, Lunsford said the City of Troy is close to finding a business to fill the empty building left by the departure of Ansell. The latex glove manufacturer closed when parent company Pacific-Dunlop elected to relocate the plant to Asia. The Troy facility was losing $7.7 million a year, according to company reports, and the layoff of nearly 160 employees was a severe blow to the Troy economy.

Now, Lunsford said, the factory may be coming back to life -- pending final arrangements and contractual agreements between Ansell lawyers and the new company.

"Things are still hung up with the lawyers. I spoke with the Ansell people today and they are trying to get the paperwork completed so they can transfer the property," he said.

Though he couldn't identify the new company by name, Lunsford said the new industry will provide a substantial number of jobs and is not, contrary to rumor, a supplier for the new $1 billion Hyundai plant to be located in Hope Hull.

However, Lunsford did confirm that he has been in contact with a supplier for the new automobile assembly plant and is hoping to lure the company to Troy.

"I just worked all day with a Hyundai supplier," he said. "It was their fourth or fifth visit. It was a long negotiating meeting and we talked to some of their financial people and other things. We're hopeful. We have a good chance."

Stephen Stetson can be reached at stephen.stetson@troymessenger.com.