State and Province News November 2010
Nashville-based Rogers Group Inc. (RGI), the largest privately owned aggregates firm in the nation, has entered its fourth generation of family ownership with Ben L. Rechter, great-grandson of company founder Ralph Rogers, being elected as chairman of the board of directors. He presided over his first meeting on Sept. 23 and 24. Rechter, son of former RGI president and board member Ben R. Rechter, has served both on the company’s board and management team. “The strength of Rogers Group is and always has been its people, guided by a solid governance process and a clear set of core values,” said President and CEO Jerry Geraghty. “It is clear to me that the family’s commitment to the company’s long-term growth and their experience and understanding will be a key part of our continued success for the next 100 years.”
From a field of more than 500 mines in Virginia, Luck Stone’s Powhatan Quarry has been awarded Virginia’s 2010 Land Reclamation Award for its environmental efforts. According to Powhatan Today, Conrad Spangler, director of the department of mineral mining, presented the award to Plant Manager Jamey Epps at a luncheon. “This is not something that happened last week or last year,” Epps told the newspaper. “It’s been in the works since 1985 when the plant opened.” He estimated that the plant has invested between $4 million and $6 million throughout that time on projects such as planting trees, controlling water runoff, relocating streams, constructing berms, and seeding slopes.
Dollars intended for the state’s Transportation Fund, but being used to balance its budget, have drawn the ire of many throughout the state. In a commentary in The Northwestern, writer John Casper notes that during the last eight years, $1.3 billion has been raided from the fund for non-transportation related expenditures. The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce has joined a state-wide coalition called Finding Forward. The coalition has asked counties throughout the state to place an advisory referendum question on the election ballot to protect the state’s transportation fees. If passed, the constitutional amendment would require that transportation funds be used solely to fund the state’s transportation systems and infrastructure.
Speaking about impact of the recession on the national and state economy, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, told members of the Wyoming Contractors Association, “The best I can hope for is that we’re finally bottoming out in the last few months.” Wyoming Business Report notes that Simonson said that while many fear a double-dip recession, the construction industry is still in the first dip and could see additional setbacks as it hits bottom and begins upward momentum. “Total construction was up for the first time in five years; however, materials costs will eat up much of that gain, perhaps all of it if we had a bad spike,” he said. The state has lost nearly a quarter of its construction workforce during the recession.
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