By Timothy Cox
Officials from Bruns Development Corp. plan to acquire a bankrupt feminine napkin factory in Van Wert and relocate it to part of the former AGCO building in Coldwater.
The newly acquired company, to be called Health Care Products, will give the development company three tenants in the sprawling 1.5-million-square-foot AGCO building. Relizon Co. and Obringer Wheel Co. also are located in the building on Sycamore Street in Coldwater.
The company currently operates as Tendasoft in the Van Wert industrial park.
A formal announcement about the new business still is forthcoming. The news surfaced Thursday when Mercer County Commissioners OK'd a plan to seek $350,000 in new money from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) so Health Care Products can pursue a revolving loan through the county's program. The loan fund does not have enough cash currently available to make a loan to the company without a new infusion of money from the state.
The new operation could create as many as 40 jobs, Mercer County Community Development Director Larry Stelzer said. Mike Bruns, who reportedly is heading up the project for Bruns Development, could not be reached for comment this morning. Messages left at his office were not returned by The Daily Standard's press time.
If the loan is approved and Bruns officials follow through with their plans, it would mark the third manufacturer to build in or relocate to Coldwater in recent weeks. Randall Bearings Inc., a Lima-based company is expanding to the Sanning Industrial Park, and St. Henry-based Excel Machine & Tool plans to relocate to town in the next few months.
Stelzer credited Coldwater officials for their hard work and dedication in working to enhance development prospects in the village.
If ODOD approves the infusion of new money into the revolving loan program, it would boost what already is the largest and most active revolving loan portfolio in the state. The county currently has about $7.5 million in the revolving loan program and monthly revenue from loan repayments is about $40,000, Stelzer said. Eight loans already have been approved this year; five or six is typical for an entire year.
"It's amazing the activity that is going on," Stelzer said. "There wouldn't be all this new investment if the economy wasn't on the upswing."
Stelzer called the revolving loan the biggest economic development tool available locally. With completion of the Bruns project in Coldwater, the loan program will have helped create more than 900 new jobs since its inception.
The last time the revolving loan program received new money from the state was in 2003 to provide money for a loan to the former Dave's Market in St. Henry. Although the owner of that business closed it only months after opening, the county ended up getting to keep $400,000 of the $450,000 the state provided. That money then was available to make other loans.