The end is near for two Mill's Pride cabinetry plants and the 1,200 people who work at them.

The Chillicothe Gazette reported that parent company Masco Corp. recently told workers that the two operations, including the mega-manufacturing compound in Waverly, would be shut down sometime in January.

Masco announced in April that it intended to close the Mill's Pride facilities in the first quarter of 2011, as part of a restructuring of its cabinet division, which include Merillat, Kraftmaid and Quality Cabinets. The city of Waverly and Ohio Department of Economic Development immediately stepped in and actively sought a buyer for the Mill's Pride plant.

In September, Masco sent an email to Mill's Pride employees informing them that negotiations had broken off with a potential unnamed buyer.

Waverly Mayor Dale Reed told the Gazette, "We're still hopeful that someone will be interested." Reed said renewed efforts have focused on finding multiple buyers for the 22-building manufacturing complex. "Someone wouldn't have to necessarily buy the whole plant. It could be like an industrial complex for small businesses."

Reed also told the newspaper that if the city could find funding it would have considered buying the plants. "We would love to purchase the facility and market it ourselves, but it's hard to get small businesses to even come to southern Ohio," he said. 

Pike County, home of Mill's Pride's facilities, has about a 14% unemployment rate. In addition to losing jobs, Waverly stands to lose approximately $400,000 in property taxes and $150,000 in water and sewer revenue.

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