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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Versa Pak aims to expand

By William Kincaid
CELINA - Versa Pak wants to expand its facilities here and add 15 new employees in the next five years, if a city ordinance is approved by council members.
Council on Monday night approved first reading of the ordinance to sell 3.645 acres of the city's Grand Lake Industrial Park to PGB, Ltd., doing business as Versa Pak. The land is east of Versa Pak's current 5-acre property.
Versa Pak is the only tenent in the Grand Lake Industrial Park off Staeger Road.
Council's first reading of the ordinance - which set the price at $10,000 per acre and includes a 10-year, 50 percent tax abatement for real property improvements - was approved after a nearly two-hour executive session.
All council members except Jeff Larmore, who abstained from voting, voted yes.
"They are looking to expand and asked to acquire some additional property," Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan said after the executive session.
Mayor Sharon LaRue said Versa Pak wants to expand its manufacturing and will add new jobs.
"Shortly," LaRue said when asked when the expansion will begin. "They're ready to go."
Versa Pak Vice President Vic Post this morning said he had no comment.
Versa Pak increased its full-time employees from 19 in 2002 to 50 in 2010. Company officials told city officials the building expansion would allow for a projected growth of three new employees a year during the next five years.
According to its Web site, Versa Pak converts raw materials into flexible packaging of different types and sizes of bags, rolls, sheeting, tubing and shrink bundling film.
In August 2008, Versa
Pak bought an additional 2 acres in the industrial park for $20,000 to construct a warehouse next to its manufacturing building.
If the latest land purchase is approved, the city would extend the existing storm sewer east on the south side of Braun Drive to the east line of the proposed right-of-way, according to the agreement.
Also, the city would plat a 100-foot right-of-way along the north side of the proposed tract, including the grading and installation of pavement to the existing road.
When asked this morning how much money the agreement provisions would cost the city, LaRue said no specific dollar amounts were discussed.
The sewer and right-of-way would be financed through the Staeger Road Tax Increment Finance (TIF), she said.
Second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the next council meeting at 7 p.m. March 29 at the municipal courtroom of city hall.
Additional online story on this date
ST. MARYS - A full house but fairly quiet group heard city council pass a resolution Monday to loan money to improve storefronts at the Fort Barbee building downtown. [More]
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