Oscar Mayer’s Madison, Wisconsin plant will prepare for a permanent closing in the first quarter of 2017. Though the plant once employed more than 4,000 people, the number of employees has dwindled over time. The plant is expected to complete its closing by the end of March 2017.

While Madison’s Mayor Paul Soglin told CBS News the city is planning for the replacement of the plant was a priority, he said it could be up to 10 years before the site is re-opened.

Approximately 1,000 people worked in the Madison plant and offices when parent company Kraft Heinz announced it would close the plant as a part of restructuring in November 2015. At the end of 2016, there were 450 employees remaining.

 

Some will transfer to the facility in Davenport where contract rules allow workers to take over the job that’s held by a worker with the least seniority in Davenport. Retirement was the chosen path for many other employees. Company spokesman Michael Mullen released a statement thanking employees for their commitment and hard work in the facility.