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WSAZ
April 3, 2014
By Michael Clouse

New Deal Could Lead to Felman Production Reopening 

NEW HAVEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- To say the past nine months have been rough for Jeremiah Allison is an understatement. 

"I've been scraping," said Allison. "If it wasn't for family, we wouldn't have made it."

What he thought would be a short-term layoff from Felman Production quickly stretched longer and longer. 

"The way it end up, it hurt," said Allison. "It's hurt a lot of us." 

Allison was one of about 200 who lost their jobs, and with it their livelihoods. 

Felman hadn't been profitable since 2010 and shutdown for good in July of last year. 

However, the flame of hope in the small town of New Haven was rekindled Thursday, thanks to action from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. 

A new order established a $9 million annual reduction in electric rates for Felman from Appalachian Power. 

The discount each month would be based on the gross margin. In a month where the actual gross margin is less than the target, Felman would qualify for a discount off its electric rates. If above the target, Felman would pay a premium above it's regular rate. 

The move is an action which could lead to the plant opening back up. 

"It'll mean a lot to the whole area," said Robert Ohlinger, who is a union representative for the plant. 

When hundreds get laid off, there's a ripple effect on the local economy. 

"The local business, it's hurt everybody," recalled Allison. 

If Felman chooses to accept the new rate, a contract will be filed by June 30th. 

That will mark a year without work for Allison and others. However, they're not counting that time, only the days till they're back at the jobs they love. 

"Best job I ever had in my life," said Allison. 

WSAZ.com reached out to Felman. A company spokesperson said they will be making a decision soon.