The warehouse itself will be operated by a third party and leased to Philip Morris, Garcia said. He did not know how many employees will come to the operation, which will be located at what had been TCI Logistics near the old ATR building and be called Danville Tobacco Services.
“Ultimately, the decision to move was made because we wanted to improve the efficiency with which we purchase tobacco,” Garcia said. “The new location in Danville will also provide growers with a more up-to-date facility with better parking.”
Garcia said once contracts are worked out with growers at the Lebanon station, equipment will begin moving to the new facility.
“We don’t start taking deliveries until late in the fall, usually around November, so there is some time to get that accomplished,” Garcia said.
Those in the local agricultural community say it is uncertain how the move will affect tobacco farming and selling in the county.
“Of course, there has been a lot of tobacco coming through our area to Lebanon for a long time, and we are probably more centrally located,” said Jerry Little, Boyle’s agricultural extension agent. “Any time you can get another agricultural business in your county, it helps, and it will probably be less of a cost to haul for some tobacco growers.”
Jerry Rankin, owner of Farmers Warehouse in Danville, said the new location could have positive and negative effects on the market his family has operated for years.
“Some people say it will help because if some tobacco is turned down (by Philip Morris), we are right around the corner,” Rankin said. “It will also possibly take away some of our better growers who have never contracted with a company before and have come to us for a long time. Hopefully, it will work out well for the farmers and work out well for Danville, but it will take time to see.”