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Swift gets $4.5 mill from city

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
The Atmore Industrial Development Board worked as a conduit to help Swift Lumber Company nab a $4.5 million bond issue last week, Atmore Mayor Howard Shell said.
The company plans to expand on its current sawmill and lumber manufacturing operations on Swift Street.
The new facilities are expected to be over 17,000 square foot.
The Board recommended the city grant the bond issue through the city, at what Mayor Howard Shell called a "favorable rate."
Swift Lumber, Inc., will be responsible for repaying the bond in full.
The board held a public hearing on Thursday of last week.
The company currently manufactures southern pine lumber at its facility.
Two phases
The project will consist of two separate phases, which project manager and Swift Lumber Co. President Robin Swift said will increase production and efficiency.
Phase one will introduce trimmer, sorter and stacker facilities to the current sawmill operation. The facilities will automatically sort and stack the lumber through computerized automation.
The log is scanned by laser, which an operator centers and sets. The log is then cut using automated saws.
A new curve saw, Swift said, will be phase two of the entire operation.
Swift said that now the mill will be able to use curved logs, something in the past it has had trouble with.
The saw can cut a log along an s-curve and then have it straightened in the drying facility, something previously the mill could not do.
Productivity to pay for bond
David Swift, vice president of Swift Lumber Co. said the added production this facility will produce will help the company in repaying the bond.
Swift said that times have been rough in the timber industry, but because of Swift's diversified company approach, they have been able to stay competitive.
This expansion, he hopes, will further that goal.
Swift believes the expansion will mean more jobs for the area, both directly and indirectly.
Some of the equipment is still in production and will not be ready for 3-4 months.
Both swifts expect the first phase of the project to be completed by the year's end, and the second phase to finish up sometime in mid year of 2003.
Robbie Byrd is news editor for The Advance. He can be reached via telephone at 368-6424 or by sending email to robbie.byrd@atmoreadvance.com.