Gulf Power Announces Plans to Close Jackson County Plant

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Sneads - For 60 years, Gulf Power's Scholz plant has provided electricity and jobs to the Sneads community. But all that will end when Gulf Power closes the plant in a couple of years.

"For something as large as Gulf Power to shut down, that does effect us tremendously" said Sneads City Manager, Connie Butts.

Gulf power officials said the facility would be too expensive to get up to code once new regulations take effect in 2015. It's a situation that was understood, but not well received by community members.

"I understand they're reasoning behind it" Butts said. "It is a low blow to the town though. We have 22 families who are going to be affected."

Some of the 22 employees will be eligible for retirement and Gulf power officials said they will relocate the rest. But, that didn't ease Sneads or Jackson County officials, who feared the possibility of losing some of the tax revenue the plant generates.

"They still will be assessed at the same ad valorem tax" explained Jackson County Commissioner, Jeremy Branch. "I'm not sure about what tangible property tax they may be paying, I'd have to discuss that with the property appraisers office- if they plan to remove any tangible property."

Butts also said Scholz' closing would hurt the city's potential for job growth and recruiting new industry.

"We'll do everything we can to keep our community stable. But, I'm not sure at this point in time we'll have anything available in two years for them to transition to here" Butts told us.

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