Letter: Abbott Labs, a lost opportunity

To the editor:

The closing of the Abbott Laurinburg Plant in 2001 should not have been the end of this facility. This $52 million plant was given by Abbott to the leaders of our community for $1 in effort to attract new business and to replace the jobs we lost. This plant was one of the best maintained facilities anywhere.

Abbott spent a fortune on purchasing the best plant utility and production equipment. Its preventive maintenance and calibration programs were second to none. This along with the many highly trained employees assured that the health care products the plant produced were of the highest quality. The product quality was also reflected in the maintenance of the entire facility. It was a pleasure to drive by the plant and see the well maintained grounds. Now this facility has become an eyesore and a disgrace to our community. How could this be allowed to happen? What must travelers think of our community when passing by this abandoned looking property? Our community leaders were given the industrial Crown Jewel of Scotland County, but did not value what was given to them, allowing it to turn in what we see today. There is apparently not even a way to make the present owner maintain the grounds. Previous owners stripped the plant of its valuables our community could have benefited from and left the plant in shambles. There was one opportunity to keep this site operational, when the Gryphon Group was interested in purchasing the plant. Unfortunately city leaders prevented this outstanding company, who trains the people who defend our country, from obtaining the property. We did not only lose the tax money Gryphon would have paid, but also all of the jobs this company needed. The results are visible for all to see. The plant site has become a sad and depressing looking place. How could this be allowed to happen?

Horst Hanak