Friday, April 18, 2014

Industrial park tenant on target with hiring, headed toward 65 jobs

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 12/2/2013

Productivity is flowing at a steady clip for one of the Ottawa Industrial Park’s newest tenants, Jeff Seymour said.

Monoflo International, which opened earlier this year, now has about 20 employees, Seymour, Franklin County Economic Development executive director, told Ottawa city commissioners Monday during his quarterly report about economic development in the county.

Productivity is flowing at a steady clip for one of the Ottawa Industrial Park’s newest tenants, Jeff Seymour said.

Monoflo International, which opened earlier this year, now has about 20 employees, Seymour, Franklin County Economic Development executive director, told Ottawa city commissioners Monday during his quarterly report about economic development in the county.

“Monoflo is right on track with where they said they would be, with 20 to 20-plus employees,” Seymour said. “They are also talking about adding some additional processes [at the Ottawa plant] in the future that could require additional investment in the plant.”

Monoflo, a maker of plastic products, in August 2012 acquired the former Kennel-Aire LLC facility, 1550 N. Davis Ave., Ottawa. The Winchester, Va.-based company projected it would initially hire a minimum of 15 workers and expand its workforce to 65 during the course of the next five years.

Monoflo also is making use of a BNSF Railway spur to bring pallets of materials and other freight into its plant, Seymour said. Though the company controls the spur into its plant, Seymour said, he thought company representatives might be open to discussions about letting other tenants in the industrial park have access to the spur under the right circumstances.

Seymour said Monoflo also has taken an active interest in the community and he thinks they will continue to be a good corporate citizen and a benefit to the local economy.

Franklin County economic development leaders and city and county government officials also have been looking for available land to expand the county’s industrial park capabilities. The development council continues to push forward with this effort, Seymour said, and in the coming days would be meeting with attorneys who are experienced in handling the legal affairs that these type of land acquisitions require. He said one Wichita-based attorney the development council would be meeting with was involved in handling the land acquisition for a large hotel project in Wichita and construction of a casino at Mulvane, Kan., near Wichita.

The development council has fielded numerous prospects from people interested in establishing a new business in Franklin County or expanding an existing business, the executive director reported.

 One of the prospects coming to fruition is a manufacturing project slated for southern Franklin County, Seymour said. Though he could not discuss the details Monday, Seymour said, an announcement could come soon.

Seymour also continues to field inquiries about available warehouse/distribution space in Franklin County related to the new BNSF Railway intermodel project, Logistics Park Kansas City, which opened in October in the Gardner-Edgerton area, he said.

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