DECATUR, Ill. (Aug. 17)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., which announced tentative plans June 27 to close its Decatur tire manufacturing plant, has made those plans official. The Decatur facility will close Dec. 31, John McQuade, Bridgestone/Firestone vice president of manufacturing operations, said in a prepared statement. The company will continue to meet with representatives of the United Steelworkers of America "to reach agreement on the effects of this closure," McQuade said. "Bridgestone/Firestone will continue to work with the Decatur employees, their families and the community through this difficult time." The Decatur plant is Bridgestone/Firestone's oldest, built in 1942 as a tank assembly plant and converted to a tire facility in 1963. Some 1,480 people work there, including 1,350 USWA members.