COBURG, Ore. — An international food processing company could be calling the City of Coburg its new home in just a year’s time. While many of the residents we spoke to were excited about what a production company like this could do for the small town, there were some concerns about whether or not the city could fully support it.
With a population just above one thousand, Coburg may be considered a small town, but some people say it’s ready for big things.
“We’ve had this kind of industry in the past and as a result of the recession and changes in the economy, we’ve lost a lot of them…So seeing some of those kinds of businesses work their way back into our community is a really helpful gain,” said Coburg resident Terry Dawson.
With more than $25 million dollars in potential investments and more than 200 new jobs, Materne North America, part of a European company that produces the squeezable apple sauce GoGo squeeZ, could be that kind of business.
“There’s not only benefit for the citizens of coburg, there’s also benefits regionally and for the state. in town, is jobs and increased economic activity,” said the Mayor of Coburg Jae Pudewell.
But some people aren’t convinced yet. Coburg City Councilor Don Nelson said, “Right at this present time, the City of Coburg does not have the finances in place, I believe, to meet the deadline that the manufacturing company would like to meet.”
Coburg’s current infrastructure is another concern. The city is still reworking its water and sewage system, but despite the uncertainty many residents remain hopeful.
Dawson said, “When you look at Coburg being recognized as a valuable and viable opportunity for other places to consider coming to and establishing a footprint in, there’s really not much in the way of a downside.”
Councilors said Tuesday night’s vote was really just the beginning of the process. They are still waiting to see the presentation on the project’s parameters to see if it’s even feasible.