Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
By Shelley Grieshop
Teamwork lands $200,000 grant for roadwork
Two expanding businesses in Celina industrial park benefit from project
  CELINA - Mercer County has netted a $200,000 roadwork grant to support two businesses in the Grand Lake Industrial Park on Celina's east side.
The funds will be used to extend and realign Havemann Road into the industrial park for use by Celina Moving and Storage Inc., which plans to build a 60,000-square-foot warehouse on the site. The proposed project will also benefit industrial park tenant Versa Pak, which is expanding its business, Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan said.
"Obviously we're very happy about it (the grant). It helps us get the infrastructure in place," he added.
The grant is a portion of more than $9.2 million in economic development grants recently awarded by the Ohio Department of Development (ODD) to aid economic growth. The grants are expected to create 2,756 jobs and maintain 17,565 positions across Ohio.
The cost for the Havemann Road project is approximately $400,000. The city will fund the remaining $200,000 in two ways, Bryan said: "in-kind" funds, meaning city crews and equipment will be tapped for construction, and use of the Staeger Road Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Fund.
TIF money is gathered from increases in real estate values in specific districts and used for infrastructure and other improvements in those areas.
Mercer County Economic Development Director Jared Ebbing applied for the ODD grant last year. The award was given based on the creation of 15 full-time jobs, which Celina Moving and Storage has promised to add in the next three years.
Ebbing and Bryan agreed the grant and the roadway project was a team effort. They praised the help of Ralph Kraner, owner of Celina Moving and Storage and its parent company, Grand Lake Warehousing LLC.
"This just shows that the county, the city and area companies can work together to make good things happen for everybody," Ebbing said.
The city of Wapakoneta also was awarded ODD money. The Auglaize County municipality will receive $450,000 to create a new north-south access road into the city's industrial area.
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