Zachary officials brace for financial impact of Georgia-Pacific layoffs
ZACHARY - City and school officials are bracing for a financial hit from layoffs announced at Georgia-Pacific last week. One of the largest employers near Zachary, the paper mill in Port Hudson says more than 600 workers are losing their jobs.
"It's a major part of our income," Superintendent Scott Devillier told WBRZ.
Georgia-Pacific generates about $7.5 million per year in property taxes, which go straight to the school district. Devillier is concerned that the company could start selling off its large machinery used for making paper products, ultimately reducing the school's revenue.
"As a district, we are going to have to be very cautious, staying on top of this because Georgia-Pacific is a big part of our budget," Devillier added.
Zachary Mayor David Amrhein is also closely watching the layoffs.
"It's the biggest layoff the City of Zachary has ever had," Amrhein said.
The mayor says half of the workers being laid off are from the Zachary area. He says that could mean a 10-percent loss in the $9 million per year the city collects in sales taxes.
"If you lose 10-percent of your income, you are talking about a little over $900,000," Amrhein said. "And we don't have a $900,000 surplus every year."
Georgia-Pacific will start laying off the workers in March.