RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — InfraMetals project manager Michael Dean said he hopes that within the month the company will receive title for a parcel of land in New Boston, and move forward immediately with plans to build a $13 million steel distribution plant. If things stay on their current schedule — which has dragged since it started four years ago — Dean said the plant could finally be open by mid-first quarter of 2013, with 25 employees starting.
The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) first announced in 2007 their plans to remediate land behind the former Walmart building, where a diesel shop once operated in the New Boston Coke Plant. InfraMetals agreed to purchase the land from SOPA after it had been remediated and approved by Environmental Protection Agency.
Just one year later, in 2008, the economy bottomed out and the company was forced to slow down their plans.
“The economy not-withstanding, we’ve had some ownership change with our corporation and we had to go back through and do some work in terms of getting approval again for the project. Everything is a go internally for us. The money has been committed. We’re certainly ready internally to do this project and we’re excited to get it done,” Dean said. “The economy took a tank in 2008 and that forced us to take a pause as well, but we’ve never wavered in our commitment to eventually do this project.”
After SOPA had completed its remediation of the New Boston property last fall, they and InfraMetals hosted a formal groundbreaking ceremony, even though the company still had not — and has not — yet purchased the land.
“That’s not normal, but obviously the Southern Ohio Port Authority was very excited about our coming to the area and that was kind of their groundbreaking for their portion of the property. They were very excited to have us aboard, but officially the building won’t be started until the land purchase is completed and the title work is completed. But we feel as if we’re very close,” Dean said.
Now with remediation behind them and the site approved by the EPA, Dean said the company is moving forward with legal transfer of the property to build the new facility.
“We expect that to be done — we hope to actually be able to purchase that and start in 30 days. I received some information Friday that looks like we’re moving forward with the title clearances,” he said.
As further incentive to build in New Boston, the company was granted a 40 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit from the state of Ohio and a 75 percent, 10-year local tax credit from the village.
“What that does for us is it gives us additional monies to be spent on facilities and equipment. Both of those issues certainly have a positive affect on the size and scope of our project. I’m sitting in an airport right now getting ready to go look at equipment for this building,” Dean said, speaking over the telephone Monday morning.
The savings could also assist with hiring additional employment further down the road, he said.
Once the title has been cleared, Dean said the company will begin construction right away. He estimates the business will be completely operational by mid-first-quarter of 2013 with 25 starting employees and increasing to 65 or 70 as quickly as possible. The company will reportedly generate $1.8 million in new annual payroll at its New Boston plant.
A subsidiary of the publicly-traded Reliance-Infra-Metals (NYSE: RS) of Wallingford, Conn., InfraMetals steel distribution company already operates six steel service center warehouses in Florida, Virgina, Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.