AFG glass plant announces plan to resume operations
by Torie Knight
AFG Industries Inc. is just about to finish a 90-day
repair to its furnace and production line at the Jerry Run facility
in Taylor County that forced the layoff of about 200 employees.
Owners shut down the production lines at the facility
for the first time in 11 years to repair the 200-foot furnace. Its a multi-million-
dollar expense, but a necessary one, said Plant Manager Jim Mills. Its
like taking an old car into the shop, striping it down and repairing it,
What happens over time is that the bricks in the
furnace deteriorate and need to be replaced. The furnace itself produces
500 tons of glass a day. Its just part of doing business, Mills said.
You have to repair the business to keep the business.
Mills believes the repairs demonstrate the glass companys dedication
to the area.
With this investment, AFG and its employees look
forward to continuing its long and successful partnership with the Bridgeport
and Clarksburg area, he said. During the repair process, AFG laid off
around 200 of its 320 employees.
About 350 contractors worked to help make the repairs
during that time. Next week, production should begin again.
The company continued operations during the shut-down by shipping products
from inventory remaining on the plant floor.
This is the third time owners have repaired the furnaces at the
Jerry Run plant. Weve learned how to operate these things so we can extend
the life on them, Mills said.
AFG Industries is a flat glass manufacturing facility.
The company creates glass used in windows and mirrors, the glass shelving
in refrigerators and the glass on the fronts of microwaves.
The company sells to top brands such as Frigidaire,
Whirlpool and Sears, with a total of 600 customers last year.
Clarksburg City Council gives approval
to budget plan
by Paul Leakan
Lets at least leave here tonight as friends.
Clarksburg City Council delivered that message to
city employees Thursday night after it passed the citys $8.3 million budget.
Council members voted unanimously to pass the budget,
which included a 2 percent pay increase for all city employees and special
pay for some city employees.
The Local 119 Chapter of the International Union
of Police Associations had pleaded for council to approve a 12 percent
pay raise for city police officers.
City officials hoped the discussions which became
heated at times didnt create animosity between them and city employees.
There is no adversarial relationship, City Manager Percy Ashcraft told
the crowd of city employees in attendance. There is no line drawn behind
this podium. We dont leave tonight as opponents. We leave tonight as
Police, firefighters and public works employees
will receive special assignment pay this budget year. They will make an
additional 35 cents per hour for work performed on the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
shift and the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.
Police union officials said they are grateful for the pay increase
and the special pay provision, but warned council that they will be back
next year to get the 12 percent pay raise and hazardous pay.
John Fuscaldo, vice president of the local police
union, told council that it must start coming up with ways to make room
for the pay raise next year. Its going to to take fiscal responsibility
from all of us, Fuscaldo told council. I think were in the same life
boat together. Were going to have to come up with solutions.
The pay raise discussions this year at least helped
create better communication and a better working relationship between city
officials and employees, Ashcraft said. Robert Matheny, president of the
local police union, hopes Ashcrafts remarks ring true.
Well work together in the future. And well be
better educated for next year. We just hope we can get it done.
Council beat the deadline to pass the budget by nine days. Under state
law, council must have the budget signed, sealed and delivered to Charleston
by March 28. Its been a tough budget, said Councilman Jim Hunt. But
Ive had 14 of them, and theyre all tough.
In other business Thursday, council removed an ordinance
from the agenda that could have expanded the citys rotational towing list
to include towing businesses located one mile outside city limits.
Council had tabled the ordinance during its March
4 session and it should not have been placed back on the agenda. Council
deadlocked on bringing the ordinance back on the table Thursday. Three
voted for it, and three voted against it. Mayor Louis Iquinto abstained
from voting. Though the measure is still off the table, it could be brought
back at a later time.