Months after news first arose about the impending closure and sale of the Akers National Roll plant in Avonmore, questions about the future of the facility and the identity of the new owners of the site remain unresolved, according to Senator Joe Pittman and Representative Joseph Petrarca.
“Documentation shows that the plant was sold, but we are unsure who the new owners are and what they ultimately intend to do with the facility,” said Senator Pittman. “It appears that unlike previous statements from the former owners, the property was not sold to one of its affiliates, but rather to another organization altogether. So far attempts to contact all of the parties involved have been unsuccessful, which has intensified the concerns of many in the community.”
“The lack of response from the company is very frustrating,” said Representative Petrarca. “The closure impacted many families and it has been a major economic jolt to Avonmore. We had hoped that the parties involved would be open about the process and their eventual plans for the site.”
On May 10, Ampco-Pittsburgh announced that it was selling Akers National Roll to an affiliate of WHEMCO, Inc.
With little more information about the deal made available, Senator Pittman, Representative Petrarca, and officials from Westmoreland County and Avonmore Borough wrote WHEMCO President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Novelli to ask about the status of the plant. Read the letter
“We trust you recognize the significance of this facility to Avonmore and Westmoreland County, as well as Armstrong and Indiana counties as they are impacted economically by the growth or decline of the site,” the officials wrote. “We welcome the opportunity to open dialogue with you to better understand the future of the site. As a business leader in charge and responsible for so many, I am sure you could appreciate the importance of informed decision making. As community leaders, we feel the same.”
The company did not respond to the letter, but on September 25 an Indenture was filed with the Westmoreland Recorder of Deeds transferring the plant from Akers National Roll Company to Georgia Financial XIII LLC for $703,676.
Information about the new owners is extremely limited and they have made no statement about the plant’s future.
“We will continue to pursue this and would welcome an opportunity to talk with owners about this plant and the options that are available to restore it as a vibrant part of the Avonmore community,” Senator Pittman said. “This plant has been the heart of Avonmore’s economy, providing good family-sustaining jobs. We sincerely hope that we can resurrect it and help it regain that important role in the community.”
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