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JEDCO Executive Director Eddie Hopkins.

The Board of Directors of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation was unable to hold an official meeting on Tuesday evening due to the lack of a quorum. However, JEDCO Executive Director Eddie Hopkins instead gave a report on several projects or activities which he said looked promising.

According to Hopkins, he and others have been in touch with a company in Orange, which he said could bring jobs to Jasper. Even though, Hopkins did not name the firm, he indicated that it might a group involved in machine work. Hopkins said the group was looking at an existing piece of property and associated building here in Jasper.

Hopkins also said that he and others had been in correspondence with Vance Manufacturing Company, a firm that designs and builds hydraulic jack plates for outboard engines and the boating industry. According to Hopkins, the prospective group is looking a warehouse facility on Farm to Market Road 776. The site of the proposed business once served as a distributor of bearings and raceways for industry. However, Hopkins did not say how many jobs the company would provide.

In his address, Hopkins also said there was a chance that the Pizza Hut location at the intersection of Highways 190 and 96 might re-open. Hopkins said he and others had been in talks with a group of investors in the Tyler Area that already own some 26 other Pizza Hut locations, who are exploring the ideas of performing a facelift and re-opening the location here.

The Pizza Hut here in Jasper, along with around 300 other locations around the country closed in August of last year amid the rise of Coronavirus and other economic problems.

As far current projects, Hopkins said that Provalus, an online and telephone support company was very much up and operating and the company, which recently made it’s home in Downtown Jasper was now employing 107 people. Hopkins said he was pleased to say that of those individuals, 67 were from Jasper and that most of the rest were from nearby towns.

In other business, Hopkins said JEDCO had contracted with Downtown Strategies of Birmingham, Alabama to assist in planning and future renovation of Downtown Jasper. To that end, Hopkins said JEDCO would be hosting an informational session to both answer questions and hear comments from local citizens. He said the meeting would be held at JEDCO offices on South Wheeler Street in Jasper at 5:30 on Wednesday afternoon.