Tobacco company to bring 53 new jobs

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Officials say a Tennessee-based tobacco company will be opening a manufacturing operation in Wilson.

Wind River Tobacco Co. plans to hire 53 employees with an average salary of $35,472, according to information presented during the Wilson County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday evening.

Wind River purchased the former McMullan plant at 4792 Potato House Court, which the company is currently renovating, said Jennifer Lantz, Wilson Economic Development Council executive director.

She told commissioners Wind River will be investing about $18.5 million in equipment for the facility. The announcement came after commissioners unanimously passed a resolution asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to extend Potato House Road as an industrial access road for the tobacco company.

Lantz told commissioners that the resolution was requested by Sen. Rick Horner, R-Nash, and Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, who will provide letters to the DOT on the matter as well.

“It’s just part of the process,” she said.


• Commissioners also approved two ongoing economic incentive packages for this fiscal year — $2,500 for BQ Grills and $200,000 for Linamar Forgings. The city and county split the total incentive amount for Linamar.

• Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford E-450 Osage Type III ambulance for Wilson County Emergency Medical Services. The purchase amount is $153,965. Budgeted funds will be used to make the purchase.

• Commissioners approved a $1 million grant awarded to Wilson County as a part of the Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant. The money will be used to replace 20 Wilson Housing Authority residential units that have experienced repeated flooding in recent years. The homes were flooded during Hurricane Matthew and during a series of other storms, officials said. The new housing units will be built outside the flood plain.

The project was identified last May as Wilson County’s highest priory housing project in its Hurricane Matthew Resilient Redevelopment Plan.

• Commissioners approved a grant, funded by Eastpointe, that will be used as part of the county’s response to opioid use.

The grant is $50,000 per year for two years and is a collaborative effort led by the Wilson County Department of Social Services along with the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition and Recovery Concepts Community Center. Many preventative and support strategies will come out of the grant, including a community-wide forum.