Chamber of Commerce Christmas Open House Draws Large Crowd, Hunt President Details New Mill

The Chamber of Commerce hosted its Christmas Open House at the Arcadia Events Center last night to honor our parish’s first responders.  There was a great turnout with more than 100 people in attendance.  Parish Coroner Don Smith presented local first responders with certificates of appreciation.  Door prizes including deer corn, gift bags, and umbrellas, were provided by sponsors.  

The guest speaker was Richie LeBlanc, President of Hunt Forest Products.  In his presentation, Mr. LeBlanc detailed the new lumber mill which will be located in Taylor.  Mr. LeBlanc said the mill originally had an estimated cost of approximately $240 million.  Due to supply problems because of the pandemic, the cost has risen to an unspecified amount.  Mr. LeBlanc said the motors which will be used in the new mill will come from Indonesia and Vietnam.  The new mill will procure timber from about a 60-mile circle with the mill at its center.  When the mill is fully operational, which is estimated to be first quarter 2024, the mill will take in about 40,000 truckloads of lumber per year.  Mr. LeBlanc said that they plan to hire employees early so that they can be trained in their LaSalle, Louisiana mill.  

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