Electra Officials Working to Offset Economic Impact of Plant Closure

- One week after Electra city leaders fired long-time police chief, Johnny Morris, the town is dealing with another big change-- the closure of one of its largest employers.

Cameron Manufacturing Plant planned to start laying off more than 120 employees today before shutting down completely by mid-March.

The imminent closure of Cameron Manufacturing Plant is a huge shock.

And, while some in Electra are worried, others are working hard to offset the economic impact.

Word that Cameron Manufacturing Plant in Electra is closing has worry running rampant through town.

"As a business owner I have to be concerned because my business depends on the survival of places like Cameron and the oil industry.  Without those businesses I'm going to be out of business," says Scot Lamke, owner of Pump City Diner.

It's a harsh reality city leaders know and are trying to counteract.
Mayor Curtis Warner says leaders are already putting out feelers to find an occupant once cameron closes by mid-March.

"It would be a wonderful place for a very big operation.  I've been in the plant and toured it a couple of times and it's ideal for manufacturing large tanks," Mayor Warner says.

Cameron employs 121 people... people Workforce Solution is on standby to help.

"We can make sure they can get all the information about unemployment benefits.  Since they're losing their job through no fault of their own, they're eligible for training in other occupations, possibly," says Mona Statser, executive director of Workforce Solutions North Texas.

City officials say although more than half of those employees live in Wichita Falls, Iowa Park and other nearby towns they say all contribute to the economy by eating at local restaurants and shopping at local businesses.
Mayor Warner says the closure will reduce that amount of money along with the amount the company pays in utilities, sales taxes and ad valorem taxes.
He says this is just a premature estimate.

"We're looking at around $330,000 to $340,000 a year," says Mayor Warner.

Earlier today Electra city officials met with city department heads to discuss projects that could be delayed to help offset the tax loss.

And to help get through this crisis, officials at First Baptist Church in Electra are holding a community prayer meeting  tomorrow at 6 p.m.

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