Wood County has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant of $427,300 to assist American Cold Forge with its move into a Woodville Road property that had been the site of a welding business.
American Cold Forge plans to invest about $2 million in the facility and equipment for manufacturing parts for the automotive industry.
Company owners have estimated about 22 full-time jobs will be created.
D&D Welding had been located at the site at 5650 Woodville Road in Lake Township.
Mark Hummer, administrator for the township trustees, said the township has been working with the Wood County Economic Development Commission for about one year on finding a location for American Cold Forge.
“We listed the site on the economic development commission’s Web site and they were pretty happy with the location,” he said. “The building does need some modifications. It’s very exciting to have new business in this economy.”
Thomas Blaha, executive director of the development commission, said the grant is actually a loan to be repaid by the company to Wood County instead of the state, thereby making it a grant in the long run to the county, which can use those revenues for future loans to businesses.
His office also assisted in securing a Small Business Administration loan of $399,250 for the project.
American Cold Forge is also investing its own equity and has received a loan from Comerica Bank, Blaha said.
Tracy Road to be improved
A cooperative agreement between private landowners, Lake Township, and the Northern Wood County Port Authority has been approved and authorizes the port authority to proceed with a grant application for extensive repairs to Tracy Road.
The parties are hoping the agreement will enhance their chances of securing funds from the Job Ready Sites program administered by the Ohio Department of Development for the road work, which will include resurfacing the road from State Route 795 south to the Ohio Turnpike overpass.
The grant application will be for approximately $1.5 million, said Hummer.
The township trustees approved the agreement in a special meeting last Monday.
Three private entities, Rudolph Libbe Co., Rudolph/Keller Farm, LLC., and F&K Investments, LLC., have signed the agreement and have set aside about 191 acres adjacent to the road for potential industrial development, Hummer said.
The Job Ready Sites Program, approved by Ohio voters in November, 2005, is designed to fund infrastructure and related projects that make parcels zoned for industry more marketable.
Hummer said a bridge on Tracy Road needs extensive repairs and the road needs improvements to handle industrial truck traffic but the acreage is well-suited for manufacturing.
“It’s one of the largest available parcels in Wood County for industrial use,” he said. “It’s already zoned for manufacturing and is located in a foreign trade zone. We want to bring in jobs and good growth.”
To be eligible for a job ready grant, landowners must agree to set parcels aside for seven years for potential buyers looking for manufacturing sites.
Lake Township is not a member of the port authority, but Hummer said a joint effort in the grant application process could improve the odds of landing the grant.
In 2008, the county was awarded a $580,000 Roadwork Development Grant for improvements at the intersection of Tracy Road and State Route 795, including widening and re-aligning the road.