Chem Technologies Shifts Plant Location to Avoid Bedrock
Chem Technologies is relocating its proposed 36,000-square-foot production and warehouse facility, but it's not going very far.The Middlefield operation was planning to build its second…
Chem Technologies is relocating its proposed 36,000-square-foot production and warehouse facility, but it’s not going very far.
The Middlefield operation was planning to build its second facility on a road off state Route 528 south of state Route 87.
Plans for the 188-acre property owned by Bonner Farms WV, LLC, included a cul de sac off 528.
Randall Vancura, chief operating officer for Chem Technologies, said last Thursday that soil borings on the proposed cul-de-sac turned up bedrock only seven feet from the surface. He told Middlefield Planning Commission the shale would cause problems with future construction.
The preliminary drawing he showed the commission sketched in additions to the initial building, which will house a production line and warehousing, Vancura said.
No plans have been submitted to the village zoning inspector for approval yet, but a discussion with the commission seemed warranted, he said.
“Just so you know this is our expectation,” Vancura said.
The company has negotiated with Bonner Farms CEO Dick Bonner to build on a multi-acre parcel about 1,000 feet north at the corner of 87 and 528, he said.
Initially, a construction drive would be needed and, later, two curb cuts would be necessary for the office parking lot and access for trucks, Vancura said.
One reason the drawing was just preliminary is that the map is still in a fluid state.
“The plats have changed from what we saw earlier,” he said, adding the parcel Chem Technologies plans to build on should be firm soon so construction can begin this summer.
“The drivers (of construction) are going to be excavation,” Vancura said.
However, if more bedrock is found as footers are dug, delays could ensue, he said.
Not all delays are bad. Original plans were to start excavation in December, when footers were to go in. It would not have been good, Vancura explained.
“With all the rain we had in December, it would have been a disaster,” he said.
Test bores of the northern location show that bedrock is about 20 feet below the surface, which is acceptable, he said.
As the facility enlarges in phases going south, it is possible contractors will have to deal with bedrock for subterranean construction, but if the initial phases are producing a healthy return on investment by then, there will be resources to “harvest” or chip the rock out of the way and use the material on the property,?Vancura said.
The second addition could be twice the size of the first facility, with a potential build-out of about 250,000 square feet, he said.
The company is a supplier of custom single and multiple ingredient blends in a pre-weighed and prepackaged delivery system. Each of the buildings will support a production line and warehousing, Vancura said.
“We’ll fill them up with highly-paid employees,” he said.
The Chem Technologies plant on Route 87 employed about 72 workers a year ago. The company has 76 employees now, who received bonuses at the end of 2013, which was a record year, Vancura said.
The company experienced growth of about 40 percent in 2013, 50 percent in 2012 and more than 50 percent in 2011, he said last Thursday.
“Our average annual growth rate is not too shabby,” Vancura said after his presentation.
The acreage includes plans for a very large retention pond on the parcel that will drain about half of the Bonner property.
Village Mayor Ben Garlich likened the building of the facility on the Bonner industrial property, annexed by the village last year, to getting an anchor store for a strip mall.
“I think the property will flourish,” Garlich said.
Commission member Scott Klein said there is no problem with the two driveways on 528.
Vancura said one concern is the retention pond is not included in the property Chem Technologies is going to use. That may mean construction could eventually exceed the village’s 50-percent limit on parcel coverage, he said.
Zoning Inspector Steve Roessner said it looks like about 40 percent coverage.
“We’re still crunching the numbers,” Vancura said. “You don’t know until you bore.”
The current drawing he presented shows several hundred feet between the parcel and the residences on Route 528, he said.
If excavation is to start in March, details must be nailed down.
“We need the actual, final drawing to get approved,” Vancura said.
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