Despite tax incentives, Poteau plant to close

Friday, June 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

POTEAU, Okla. (AP) -- A Milwaukee-based company has announced it is closing a plant here and moving the operation to Mexico, despite governmental efforts to keep the plant open.

The Poteau plant of Johnson Controls employs 125 workers. Company officials said the shutdown is expected to take about nine
months, with most of the line operations scheduled to close in February and April.

When the company said in April it was considering the move, local state and federal officials tried to put together a package
of economic and tax incentives that would keep the plant in LeFlore County.

The effort included such civic and elected officials as Gov. Frank Keating, U.S. Rep. Wes Watkins, and state lawmakers Rep. Kenneth Corn and Sen. Larry Dickerson.

But it was not enough to persuade company officials against the move, which Johnson Controls said was necessary due to increased
competition in the global market.

Johnson Controls makes metal control panels for use in nonresidential air-conditioning systems. The Poteau facility has been in operation since 1960.