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Lincoln County leaders: More industry, jobs on horizon

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FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) -- Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman says the area's business community has seen a lot of action over the past few months. But not all of it has been bad.

WHNT News 19 previously reported the Goodman plant in Fayetteville is closing in 2017, and 1,900 people are expected to lose their jobs.

But Mayor Newman says other action over the past few months has him the opposite of defeated.

"I think when it gets here in 2017, we won't have a blip in our economy locally," he said about how Goodman's closure would affect Lincoln County. He says he gets that kind of confidence from deals that he has knowledge are down the pike.

"We are getting lots of looks for industry," he said. "Right now we're probably on schedule for our timeline for replacing those jobs."

Newman says the Frito Lay facility in Fayetteville continues to expand. But there is also active recruitment for more companies to come into town, and more jobs along with them. There's an Industrial Park near the Frito Lay plant that is expected to get a new tenant soon. That's all Newman would say for now because these deals require secrecy, but he did add this company had already committed to it.

City of Fayetteville, Lincoln County, and Industrial Board leaders are also working on other negotiations, too, but that is also confidential. Newman hinted that some may be affiliated with the automobile industry.

What we can be sure of, though, is that Lincoln County is ready to compete, said Newman.

"Our community is a great community," he explained. "We've got a great workforce. We're going to be there. We're fighting and we're going to win our share."

He added that the county has recently earned another AA credit rating, which should give industries looking at Lincoln County continued confidence. He said that strong surrounding counties, too, help Lincoln County continue its growth.