Evergreen pulling the plug on power plant in south Reading

Company cites difficult economic conditions

Video report by WFMZ's Tom Rader

READING, Pa. - The pulsing sound of a power plant is one that residents near the 800 block of South Street in Reading have gotten very used to.

"When the power plant is in full gear, we can hear it from our home, which is about eight blocks away," said Reading Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz.

The plant was built in 2008 to supply power to the United Corrstack paper mill, but soon, the sound coming from the Evergreen Community Power Plant will stop.

"I'm understanding that there is a plan to close the Evergreen power plant," Goodman-Hinnershitz said.

In a statement to 69 News about the planned closure, London-based DS Smith said:

"Due to challenging economic conditions for many years, we have taken the difficult decision to close the Reading Mill Power Plant. We are working with Reading Mill Power Plant Team to identify alternative opportunities available in our other local operations."

Goodman-Hinnershitz said the plant has been a staple in the neighborhood.

"Which has really been a vital operation in the city for a number of years," she explained. "I remember touring through the plant when it first opened."

The company said the plant will likely close in May. It did not say how many jobs would be impacted.

Goodman-Hinnershitz said she is concerned about the economic impact.

"On the other side, it did generate a lot of jobs for this area, and that's what I think will be the most harmful, a closure of any business," Goodman-Hinnershitz said.

She said it's important for local government to reach out to companies that may be having difficulty.

"It's very important for the city government to be working with every business of every type to be able to make sure that the city can do whatever they can to make sure these businesses stay operational," she said.

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