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WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — General Electric has announced plans to close its switchgear plant in West Burlington, but it's keeping the door open to study cost-cutting ideas.

The Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington says GE told the plant's 243 employees about the plans on Tuesday. General Manager Tom Patmore says its profitability has declined and it can't effectively compete against low-cost suppliers.

A final decision won't be made until after a 60-day window to generate ways to save money. Patmore says the company will consider any proposals during the period. He says if the plant is closed, it won't happen sooner than a year from the announcement date.

Dennis Hinkle of Grow Greater Burlington says the odds of GE staying are long, but the fact the company is open to the possibility is positive.

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