By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - There are still many questions from West Texans about the Flint Hills plant closing. Odessa Mayor Larry Melton told NewsWest 9 Wednesday we do have a good economy locally. However, he said, this is an example of how a struggling national economy can affect our area.
The plant employs about 395 people full-time, not including part-time employees. Flint Hills is one of the biggest private employers in Odessa.
It is also important to mention many local businesses in West Texas work with Flint Hills, so it is hard to tell how many workers will be affected indirectly.
The plant is a big part of creating polymers which is key to making plastics around the world. Flint Hills total payroll is more than 24 million dollars a year. No word yet on how that will directly affect the cities' tax revenue.
"I have no clue what that means tax wise, but that is not our primary concern," Mayor Larry Melton explained. "Tax is important to us, Yes, but the people's lives are much more important. We have got to do whatever it takes to get them settled, and get them a new line of work, if that's what it requires, and get them settled."
Melton also said since the local economy is good right now, they're may be opportunities for some of those workers who will be laid off to find other jobs all over town. In addition, there is a possibility another company could buy the plant. However, that appears to be only a small possibility.