NAVARRE — The state Controlling Board has approved $712,000 in Roadwork Development Grants to the village for the Hendrickson USA facility under construction on the former county farm property.
The money will help fund the extension of Sterlite Street at the construction site at Prospect Park, 4500 Sterilite St. NE. The grants are awarded for roadway improvements for projects that create or retain jobs.
A two-lane, 676-foot roadway is planned, Navarre Village Administrator Zack Wisselgren said. The funding, approved Monday, will also pay for site work, curbs, gutters and storm sewers.
The street extension, expected to cost around $1.1 million, will provide access to the plant being built by Hendrickson USA. A local match of about $366,000 will be provided by the developer and other sources, officials said.
Suspension systems and components for tractor-trailers will be manufactured in the 180,000-square-foot facility, which is an expansion of Hendrickson’s Canton operation.
Up to 300 new jobs are expected as a result of the expansion.
Ray Hexamer, president of the Stark Economic Development Board, said the road grant not only is providing access to Hendrickson but also is helping to market the vacant nearby land to other potential tenants.
“I equate it to an individual going into a (housing) development with no roads or houses and trying to get them to buy. But with a house or two, it’s a lot easier to visualize what could be,” Hexamer said. “This is exciting.”
Wisselgren said engineers have approved the road, and with the funding in place, the village can now take the next step to bid the project. They hope to start construction as soon as possible.
“We are ready to move,” Hexamer said. “Hendrickson has equipment on order and the steel was delivered about three weeks ago (for the building).”
Construction on the facility is moving along and officials hope to be able to begin operations at the end of the year, he said.
Hendrickson will soon begin hiring and training new employees to be ready when the plant is operational, Hexamer said.
“If you could pick the perfect company for the first tenant, it would be Hendrickson, because they do it right,” he added.
In 2016, a group of local foundations joined forces to purchase the 327-acre farm property for $2.245 million in an attempt to lure businesses and stimulate the economy.
The public-private partnership is funded by Stark Board of Trade, a nonprofit created by Stark Community Foundation, Hoover Foundation, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Massillon Development Foundation, DeHoff Family Foundation and the Gessner Family Foundation.
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