By Debbie Gregory
Another Red Boiling Springs plant will soon be gone, due to Nestle Waters ceasing production last week.
The Macon County Chronicle talked with Plant Manager Dan Disney, last Wednesday morning in Red Boiling Springs, and he said that as preparations are underway to close the plant, 43 employees were impacted by the decision to cease production on Tuesday, December 4th. Plus, 22 other employees were displaced earlier in the year.
“I hate to see that the plant is going through this transition, but I understand the business needs behind that and how business can change,” said Mr. Dan Disney. “Bottled water is a highly competitive category and I have seen a reduction in volume for a period of time, however, I did not feel that the plant would close this soon.”
“I had hoped that we could continue longer and my goal was to see the plant grow,” shared Mr. Disney. “But we were faced with several challenges, that we just couldn’t overcome at this time.”
“Right now we’re not closing the plant, we have just ceased production,” Dan pointed out. “I’m in the process of what it will take to close the plant and I have committed to 60 more days here. It is very early in the process, and we will continue shipping out the remaining product that we have, although there isn’t much.”
Dan stated that there is a small transition team that will be at the plant for 30 to 60 more days, depending on the needs of the site. “We will be getting the lines shut down properly, and making sure everything is buttoned-up correctly so that it is a safe building and won’t have any type of impact on the environment. It just takes time to do this and it also allows Nestle’s the opportunity to determine what they will do with the property and building.”
“Most of the employees are from here and the surrounding counties,” said Dan, “and we are providing separation packages for each associate.”
“Nestle Waters has made a lot of investments into the community of Red Boiling Springs, along with Macon County, and we have always tried to be an active part,” he said. “Nestle’s has participated in charity type walks, the food bank, and at Christmas we give donations for needy families. We have tried to be engaged in the community and we have enjoyed that.”
Dan Disney came to Nestle Waters in March of 2016, and he says that folks immediately made him feel at home. “I grew up on a farm in Cleveland, Tennessee, so I can relate to the employees and the community as well,” Dan said. “I have enjoyed my time in Macon County considerably, and I certainly hate to leave. I will miss everything about this job and the folks I have become acquainted with.”
“Obviously, this was not an easy choice for the Nestle Company to close this plant,” added
When I asked Mr. Disney where he would go from here he said, “I haven’t made that decision yet, but I will probably leave the company and stay in Tennessee.”