A lighting plant that's been a fixture in the Cochran community for nearly 40 years is set to close its doors by the fall.

The Lithonia Lighting plant in Cochran will close within six months, putting more than 440 people out of work.

Workers at the plant swing by the gas station on Dykes Street everyday.

It's just across the street from the lighting plant, and its owner, Baliram Raveleker, says the employees keep him busy.

"I'm scared if they're closing because it'll hurt my business," he says.

Friday, he says the station was flooded with questions and disbelief.

"Stop it!" A Lithonia employee said when he heard the news.

13WMAZ's Amy Aubert spoke with several Lithonia employees who didn't want to be shown on camera, but say in a meeting Friday morning, they were read a letter that said the Cochran location would be closing within six months.

Cochran Mayor, Willie Basley says it's a move that will hit Cochran hard.

"Lithonia is our biggest employer, and there's a lot of people that are going to be affected by the closure of this company," he says.

Basley says he may have to cut down on city government because the water, sewage, and gas that they provided the company was a major part of the city budget.

But for now, he's holding out hope that they keep the lights on.

"We just prayin' to God that within this six month period things will change."

Cochran native, Emma Harris, says Lithonia keeps the city going.

"A lot of people dependent on that place for jobs and what are they gonna do? It's really gonna have a big affect on the community," she says.

A notification of turning the lights off for the final time could impact hundreds in the quiet city of Cochran.

The company's letter to employees says they will move the Cochran product lines to other plants.

Read or Share this story: