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04.12.2012 - Commissioners OK enterprise zone for Provia Door
 

By CHRISTINE L. PRATT

Staff Writer

MILLERSBURG -- Holmes County commissioners approved an agreement with Provia Door establishing an enterprise zone.

The agreement absolves the business of paying 50 percent of taxes on the taxable real property starting with and extending 10 years beyond completion of the construction project, said Shawn Starlin, executive director of the Holmes County Economic Development Council.

The request was made by Provia representatives who were aware of the enterprise zone program, according to Starlin, who said it's an "awesome" project, given the company's commitment to growing the business.

"Provia is a quality company and a reputable employer, and to see them almost double in size in Holmes County is phenomenal," Starlin said.

Headquartered in Sugarcreek, Provia was founded in 1977, and has grown into a company of nearly 500 employees with five manufacturing facilities -- four in Ohio, and one in Mississippi. The company specializes in manufacturing residential entry doors, storm doors, sliding patio doors, replacement windows, storm windows, vinyl and insulated siding and manufactured stone.

According to the agreement, Provia will construct a 108,000-square-foot facility to be used for manufacturing and warehousing east of its property at 2150 State Route 39, Walnut Creek Township.

The construction project will nearly double the footprint of the campus, according to the application, which notes the project will involve a significant equipment investment and running sewer to the facility.

In conjunction with the expansion, the company has committed to hiring 35 new full-time employees by March 31, 2015. Provia has 190 full-time employees at the Sugarcreek location and 340 full-time employees statewide, according to the agreement.

The increase in employment translates to about $200,000 in annual payroll.

"The jobs they're creating are high-demand, high-paying manufacturing jobs. Those are ideal for this program," Starlin said.

The investment in the new project is estimated at $6.25 million, according to the application, in which it is noted, "The proposed expansion represents a very significant financial investment for Provia Door. The proposed abatement will reduce the company debt burden for this very large project ... freeing up very important working capital for ongoing operations including a larger workforce.

"It should be noted, Holmes County is one of the many options the company has considered for the proposed business expansion. With access to available space in Mississippi from a recent company acquisition, Provia has considered locating a portion of the business in this area," according to the application.

Starlin said he sees the company's expansion and willingness to expand in Holmes County as a "sign we're continuing to see growth in the manufacturing sector, which is one of the most dominant sectors in the county. It's also a sign we are almost completely out of the whole recession."

Citing state unemployment rates, Starlin said, Holmes County is starting to see levels that are approaching what they were in the summer of 2008. November and December unemployment rates of 5 percent look similar to those rates of June and July 2008, when the rate was 5 percent each month.

Despite an increase to 6 percent in January, Starlin said he remains hopeful, and with moves like those of Provia and other local companies that are committing to future expansion in the county, he feels confident in his forecast.

Reporter Christine L. Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or cpratt@the-daily-record.com.



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