NESQUEHONING, Pa. - It's lights out for one of the largest and most well-known businesses in Carbon County.
Firetruck-maker KME is closing up for good, the Orlando-based Rev Group announced Friday. The company's sister location in Roanoke, Virginia is also closing.
In a news release sent out earlier Friday KME said it "is meeting with employees from the Nesquehoning and Roanoke facilities to discuss options and reassignments."
It wasn't supposed to go this way when John Kovatch sold the 70-year-old family-owned business to Rev in 2016. At the time Kovatch said he expected the deal to create hundreds of jobs.
"We feel a very close bond to the community. It was instrumental in the deal that operations for KME remain here," Kovatch said.
Instead, there were layoffs almost immediately. By 2019, there were around 500 employees and more layoffs on the horizon.
Officials hoped it was the last time.
"We're both hoping that this is just a temporary thing and hopefully they will be able to call these people back in the future," Mayor Samuel Kitchko said.
It's not temporary at all, as we know now.
KME will finish its production schedule and the plant will officially close sometime in April 2022.