The Scottsbluff Star Herald reports:
Torrington Western Sugar is closing it's doors on November 14 and it will have a major impact on the town and community. According to the layoff and closure notification, approximately 86 positions will be permanently lost, along with the approximately 200 seasonal laborers that were hired during the sugar beet harvest season.
The job losses are the result of improvements and changes Western Sugar Cooperative is making in its operations at Scottsbluff and Fort Morgan, Colorado. Beet processing capacities at both plants have been increased, making it possible to close processing at Torrington on Nov. 14, or soon after.
There will be other impacts on the community as well. When the jobs are gone, so are the dollars employees spend locally. Consequently, local businesses will also feel the loss.
It won’t only be private businesses that take a hit. One-third of the electricity allotted to Torrington’s contract with the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP), was consumed by Western Sugar and Wyoming Ethanol, which closed in 2015. This is a major problem for the City of Torrington. The city must pay for the allocation whether it can sell the electricity to residents and businesses or not. If the City of Torrington cannot reach an agreement with the distributor, it could mean higher electric rates to Torrington residents, and the farmers and residents outside the city limits who get their electricity from Torrington.
There will be a major loss in tax revenue to the city and the county, Torrington Mayor Mike Varney believes there will be a decline in sales tax and real estate taxes, and property valuations will undoubtedly fall.
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Source: The Scottsbluff Star Herald