Agrium Fertilizer will not rebuild

The fire at Agrium fertilizer as seen the night of February 14th, 2011.

Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington announced Tuesday that Agrium will not rebuild in Hartsville.

He says finances played a role in Agrium not rebuilding after the February fire that destroyed the company's 160,000 square foot warehouse, leaving 60 people without jobs.

"We are saddened to lose such a long-time community partner. Agrium has made a hard business decision in an even harder economy and we cannot fault them for that. They have done everything the right way," said Mayor Pennington.

Chuck Magro, Vice President of Manufacturing for Agrium, released a statement, saying, "Our employees have shown tremendous patience and commitment during these past three months. The community, also, has demonstrated great support for the company. As we move ahead with the next stage, Agrium will work with local leaders to make this transition as positive as we can for our employees, customers and neighbors."

Paul Poister, a spokesman for Agrium Fertilizer, told us they shared the decision with former employees Tuesday morning.

Poister tells NewsChannel 15 the workers were still on payroll until a few weeks ago when they received severance packages.

He says there are still a few people at an office building on the grounds who are overseeing cleanup efforts. Poister says they remain on payroll for the time being.

The city and Agrium will continue negotiations to find a purpose for the former plant site.