Gov. Edwards on hand in Hodge to announce $97 million investment at WestRock Paper Mill

HODGE, La. (KNOE) – Governor John Bel Edwards was on hand in Hodge on August 31 to announce a nearly $100 million investment in the WestRock Paper Mill for a new wood yard.

“It is an investment in the plant,” said Gov. Edwards. “An investment in the community.”

Edwards says the investment will help protect the over 450 people who work at the plant.

“What I like about West Rock, we are not just talking about jobs, we are talking about careers,” said Edwards. “We are talking about enough of a salary to support a family, not just an individual.”

WestRock is taking advantage of the state’s industrial tax exemption program. The governor believes it is a wise investment.

“They are looking at sustainability,” explained Edwards. “Twelve percent of what they produce here is from recycled material. The rest is from wood, but we manage the forest lands such that every year we plant way more trees than we harvest and make that sustainable.

State Representative Jack McFarland (R-13) serves as Chairman of the House Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Committee.

“I know how much it will benefit the mill and production and how much it will benefit our community by stabilizing with such a large investment with the jobs and opportunities it will continue to create for the next decade,” McFarland explained.

Governor Edwards adds it’s all about investing in North Louisiana.

“It’s an investment in the plant,” said Edwards. “An investment in the community and in the revitalization of an area of ​​Louisiana that is rural. Rural revitalization is incredibly important.

Construction on the new wood yard is expected to begin in one year.

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