Aberdeen Mayor Worried About Town After Simplot Announcement

ABERDEEN, Idaho - Many say the J.R. Simplot Co. Simplot is the heart of the Aberdeen community and now it will close in 2014.

People we talked to call it an absolute shock and in this small community it seems like everyone knows someone affected by this news.

Mayor Morgan Anderson said of the 290 employees, 111 live in Aberdeen.

With spuds the center of Aberdeen's agriculture-based economy, Wednesday's announcement by Simplot is hitting the small town hard.

?We are really concerned what will happen to our community,? Anderson said.

The plant has provided 290 local jobs for nearly 40 years. Anderson calls it a good community business one that will be missed.

?It's a great asset, not only for the farmers, but for employees,? Anderson said. ?They?ve been good to Aberdeen and helped the city grow.?

Anderson said he'll be working with Bannock, Power and Bingham counties to bring a new business to the site once the building is sold.

?But we've got two and a half years,? he said. ?I hope we'll meet next week or the week after.?

At the very least, the mayor of 14 years said he will help the local workers find jobs in town. He said losing residents would burden the rest of the community with higher tax rates.

?We don?t want them to leave,? Anderson said. ?We need them all to function.?

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