Como Factory

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008

County has stake in success of Como factory

Describing his employer as “a quiet company in a highly competitive business,” Ward Wilson, vice president of Tier-Rack Corporation in Como said Monday, “Our company works hard to be a first class operation.”

Wilson was at the Como facility following the previous week’s reports on substances being released into the Como sewer system which caused the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to take notice. The event also fell into the lap of Como’s new mayor, Judy Sumner, before she presided over her first official meeting.

The metal fabricating facility has a new paint system that is much more friendly to the environment than the one used previously. But in the process, the metal goes through a three-stage wash process and chemicals are used to prep the metal so that the paint adheres to it. Wilson gave officials a rundown of everything used and likened it to cleaning agents used in car washes. The runoff is stored in tanks and the tanks were emptied into the Como’s system in April.

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Wilson said the company may have erred by not getting written permission as opposed to the verbal permission he said the company received before emptying the tanks. Wilson would not drag former Como officials into the fray and said that his company would pay to have the rinse containers emptied and hauled away to an approved disposal site as the City of Como cannot presently afford to upgrade the system to handle industrial waste.

That’s when Panola Partnership’s Sonny Simmons chimed in and offered to Como officials an opportunity to include their infrastructure needs on a “wish list” when he joins other community leaders to make a fall visit to Washington. They will be  seeking assistance for Panola County so that services can be provided to prospective and potential industry.

Yes, Como needs help with infrastructure that may or may not be forthcoming. But Como and other Panola County entities need to better communicate between themselves so that it doesn’t take an “event” to realize there is a need.

Tier-Rack sells to national accounts such as Wal-Mart and Lowe’s who would not take kindly to headlines and news reports accusing them of “raping”  the environment. And approximately 40-50 (mostly welders) are working there now and as many as 90 have been employed during peak orders.

Our community would do well to keep these folks working and better communications is a good place to start.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.