National Cement Company of Alabama, Inc. in Ragland is looking to expand operations with an extension to their quarry.
The Ragland City Council voted on Monday night to vacate a portion of Blue Springs Mountain Rd. that runs through the National Cement property. The St. Clair County Commission also voted at their meeting on Tuesday to vacate their portion. Less than one quarter of the road is owned by the county.
“The expansion of the quarry is necessary to continue operations in the future,” said Bart Moore, Senior Vice President with National Cement Company of Alabama, Inc. “This will create many more decades of work.”
The seam of limestone that is mined and processed to create concrete runs in the direction of Blue Springs Mountain Rd. and the miners need to “follow the seam,” stated Moore.
National Cement Company of Alabama, Inc. has been producing cement in St. Clair County for over 100 years. Cement operations began in July 1910 at the current plant site in Ragland. The company was purchased by the Vicat Group of France in 1974. The plant ships manufactured cement products via truck and rail to a diverse customer base across Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.
The are the largest employer in Ragland and currently have 100 hourly production employees and 32 salary employees in the Ragland plant with additional administration personnel at an office in Birmingham.
According to economic impact studies, National Cement Company of Alabama, Inc., pays $875,000 in property tax, $575,000 in sales tax and pays out $33 million in income.
Their business objective is to “offer the highest quality cement at the best possible price while maintaining our core corporate values of integrity, quality, and customer service and loyalty,” according to their website. “As a corporate citizen in the state where many of our employees also live, we strive to be environmentally responsible in the operation of our facilities. Our diligent efforts in this regard were recognized by the Ragland plant being awarded the ENERGY STAR designation by the EPA in 2010 and 2011.”
The date of the street closure has not been set.