New sawmill to create more than 50 jobs in Dallas County

DALLAS COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - The buzz in Dallas County is that a new sawmill is on the way and perhaps no one is more excited than Leo Primm.

"I think it's a good opportunity for myself and this area," Primm said. He's the first employee Sunbelt Forest Ventures hired although he's not sure what his job title is for the moment.

"I get to see everything. I'll have a lot of information to pass on to other people as they come on board," he said.

The company recruited Primm away from his old job in Georiga. The official word came Thursday morning at the Pioneer Electric Co-op on Highway 41 South "with a capital investment of $20 million," said Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Wayne Vardamann.

It is behind the co-op where the new log yard will be built. Across the way, they're framing up the expansion that'll house automated machines, making the sawmill high tech and prolific next door to an existing sawmill known as PalletOne.

"Robots even being a typical sawmill dust designed to be less physical, less physical handling," said Sunbelt Forest Ventures Managing Partner Howe Wallace.

"Like I said it'll be the first time here in the state," Primm added.

Starting out there will be 28 new jobs up for grabs with the overall goal of 52 by the second year. The hourly wage will be in the $13 range.

$20 million and 52 jobs.

"I think it will do wonders for the pallet part of the business," Primm said.

With the announcement, the company plans to be up and running by early 2019.

Howe Wallace said Dallas County beat out at least a dozen or so more cities througout the Southeast.

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