Infra-Metals, through its six facilities across the country, distributes structural steel to build buildings and also to supply to original equipment manufacturers. The company announced New Boston as a possible seventh location in 2007.
"We like the water access, which is very important. Steel is a product that's much cheaper to move by water than it is to move by rail or truck," Haight said. "Another thing is, there's a lot of business within a 250-mile radius of that location. We already do a fair amount of business in Ohio that we ship from our Illinois plant, and obviously, this new plan will be much better situated to serve that business along with a lot of additional business more competitively."
He said he also liked the labor pool in the area, and praised state and local agencies and organizations - such as the port authority - for being good to work with and offering incentives.
"The town and the state have really welcomed us, which is appreciated," Haight said.
At its meeting Tuesday night, New Boston Village Council played its part in moving the project forward by passing a resolution declaring the village has sufficient sewer systems to handle output from the Infra-Metals facility. Village Administrator Mick Sturgill said the city of Portsmouth has passed a similar resolution in regards to water usage.
In late 2007, Infra-Metals was awarded a 50-percent credit by Ohio Tax Credit Authority for an eight-year term to establish operations within the village. The estimated value of that tax credit is $210,530 over the term. One stipulation of the agreement between the state and the company is they maintain operations at the site for 16 years.
Haight said he hopes the company will break ground in New Boston during the fourth quarter of 2008, to begin distribution by the end of the second quarter of 2009.
"We've committed to something in the neighborhood of 65 jobs, and fully intend for that facility to be a lot larger and more successful than that. As with all new businesses or new locations, it takes a while to ramp up," he said.
Haight admitted the entire process is taking longer than he would like, but acknowledged, "That's part of making plans."
A spokesperson for Southern Ohio Port Authority could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.