A Koch Foods feed mill that would have brought approximately 40 jobs to Randolph County will be built elsewhere, according to Randolph County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) Director Bryant Whaley.
Koch had agreed to build the mill on a piece of land on Johnson Street off of Highway 431 on the southern end of Roanoke and had purchased approximately 27 acres of land to do so.
But Koch backed out of that agreement and opted to build the mill near Attalla, saying that was a logistically more logical location in relation to its operation centers in Gadsden and Pine Mountain, Ga.
When Koch originally agreed to build the mill here in October of 2017, the contract included a clawback clause. That clause stated that if Koch backed out of the deal, it would be required to pay RCEDA $1,500 for each of the 40 jobs that would have been created as a result of the project, a total of $60,000.
But as a gesture of good faith, Koch instead agreed to return the 27 acres of land on Johnson Road to RCEDA free of charge. Koch purchased the land for $109,000.
"It's disappointing," Whaley said. "We'd like to have 40 more jobs here in the county, but at the same time the value of the land is way more than what they were required to pay."
Whaley said RCEDA has other targeted businesses that they are hoping to bring into the county in the near future, and that he is "very optimistic" that one or more of those deals will be done soon.