Campbell Soup

The Lamar County Commissioners Court last week terminated a tax abatement agreement with Campbell’s Soup Supply Co., at the company's request, for the company’s juice line, which was set to expire at the end of the year.

“They needed to change their strategy and change their line, and that was included in that fruit line,” County Judge Brandon Bell said.

Bell said Campbell’s plans to reinvest the capital investment in a different line. However, the county judge said he was unsure what the company’s plans were.

“They took $24 or $25 million of that capital investment and then added another $10 million to expand a different line they already have, but I’m not sure what line that is or what the expansion entails,” he said.

The tax abatement, originally approved in late 2008 for the multi-serve beverage line, was worth $46 million and was expected to create 57 jobs. In addition to terminating the abatement, the commissioners voted unanimously to amend it to $41 million of capital investment, and to change the number of jobs created to 54.

“That will help them stay in compliance,” Paris Economic Development Corp. executive director Michael Paris told the commissioners at their monthly meeting.

Bell said he doesn’t expect the change to have much of an economic impact on Lamar County, since the abatement was in its final year.

He also said he does not think the company has any plans to close any of its lines at the Paris plant.

Campbell’s Soup representatives and Paris could not be reached for comment by press time.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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