DUBUQUE, Iowa — An upholstered and wood furniture company says it will close a Dubuque manufacturing facility that employs 250 people at the end of 2017.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/2dmbpta ) reports that Flexsteel Industries officials hope to replace the aging facility with a new one in Dubuque, but other locations are being considered.

President and CEO Karel Czanderna said the facility closing in December of 2017 is inefficient and costly to maintain.

“We always have to think in terms of being competitive because there are thousands of furniture manufacturers. I would consider that normal business,” said Czanderna.

Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Miligen said discussions with company officials about potential new locations in the city are underway.

“We understand they are interested in modernization,” he said. “We have had recent discussions with Flexsteel and Greater Dubuque Development Corp. about opportunities that could exist in Dubuque. But we are aware they are looking at other potential opportunities.”

The news of the impending closure came as a surprise to the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce officials. They were not informed of the closure until Wednesday morning according to President and CEO Molly Grover.

Grover said Chamber officials will work with the public and private partners of Flexsteel to evaluate the company’s needs and how they can be met locally.

“We definitely want Flexsteel to be here,” she said. “They have been a manufacturing icon and, more recently, a corporate icon in our community.”

Employees of Flexsteel learned of the company’s plan before it became public said Czanderna.

“It was a carefully timed rollout,” she said. “Of course, we would never want either unions or associates to see it first in newspaper rather than getting it directly from us.”

According to the newspaper, multiple Flexsteel employees declined to comment Wednesday as they left work.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com