Rex Lumber preparing to become fully operational

Published 7:45 pm Monday, June 17, 2019

Rex Lumber Troy general manager Jared Banta said the new state-of-the-art saw mill will be fully operational by August 1.

Banta said the mill is now undergoing testing including the running of the sawmill to do some “machine tweaking” this month and that the kilns will then be operational.

“By the first of August we’ll be in full production,” Banta said. “I already have about 60 employees here with Rex lumber and there are also still a lot of contractors on site. In August I will have my entire first shift in full production, which will be 80 to 90 people. When we bring the second shift online, we’ll be up to about 115 to 120 people full-time on site.”

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In addition to the direct employment opportunities that will be filled in the upcoming months, Banta said the saw mill’s presence will be creating other jobs and economic opportunities indirectly.

“Billy Barnes trucking has come to Troy and they’re going to have somewhere up to 40 employees to handle our residuals,” Banta said. And once we get up to full speed there will be so many log truck drivers and loggers and wood dealers, a lot of trucks coming in and a lot of people getting diesel and buying food as these things happen.”

Jimmy Lunsford of the Pike County Economic Development Corporation said it is exciting to see the company so close to being fully operational.

“They’ve been bussing employees down to their Graceville, Florida site already for work and training during the day and (Rex) is excited about the quality of workforce they’re getting,” Lunsford said. “In addition to the jobs that Rex is creating, the county was also able to sue grant funds to resurface the highway there that runs adjacent to the facility, so the county is going to gain a lot of good roadway there as well as the new road that goes in to service them.”

Chairman Robin Sullivan said the road projects are well underway now after some slight delays while working with other governmental bodies to secure the resurfacing funding.

“We’ve still got some roadwork going on over there and there are still some things we’ve got to get accomplished to make it truck-friendly,” Sullivan said. “We’re in the process of doing all these things now, it has just taken time to get them all going. We’re glad to have Rex here; they’re a good family-oriented company with high-quality, high-paying jobs. That’s the kind of folks we want here in Pike County.”

Lunsford said Rex has already proven to be a great corporate citizen and that everyone is looking forward to working with the company in the years to come.