Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — The Scioto County Commissioners this week sent a letter to the Ohio Department of Development asking for an extension of the Infra-Metals steel service center project in New Boston until March. Originally expected to be complete this month, Commissioner Mike Crabtree said the state asked them to file this request to be sure the project doesn’t lose any of its state funding as it approaches its deadline. Crabtree said he expects the project will be finished long before March.
Developer Don Hadsell of J&H Erectors said the facility will be completed by Nov. 15.
The project took six years of planning and site remediation before Infra-Metals signed the land purchase agreement with the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) in December. In January they awarded the general contract to J&H Erectors of Portsmouth to build a 275,000-square-foot facility on the former diesel shop property located behind Tractor Supply in New Boston. The facility will also include a barge dock on the Ohio River to transport steel material to the plant.
To help Infra-Metals become a reality after a long planning process, the company was granted property tax abatements by the state of Ohio and the village of New Boston. The company also received site assistance, such as $100,000 from American Electric Power, $50,000 from Fluor-B&W, and $150,000 from the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative through the Department of Energy.
Infra-Metals Vice President Michael Dean reported to the Daily Times earlier this month that the plant was expected to be open in mid-November. Crabtree said as the deadline for completion was approaching, the Ohio Department of Development asked the commissioners to file a request for extension to be sure the project doesn’t lose any state funding.
“To my knowledge, those are kind of routine things. Some of those grant funds that are used for a portion, not for the whole contract, they had to be used up by a certain time or there had to be a grant extension,” Crabtree said. “I think the building and the business itself will be done, but I think there will still be some on-site work that they’ll have to do.”
The Scioto County Commissioners sent the letter to the Ohio Department of Development this week reporting that work will be only 85 percent complete by the end of the November and asking for an extension to March 31, 2014. Developer Don Hadsell of J&H Erectors in Portsmouth said the project is going very well, and even though his work contract continues through January, he said they company already has partial occupancy and work will be 99.9 percent complete by Nov. 15.
“My final drawings are coming down and we’re giving them partial occupancy to use all of Phase 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the rest of the site to start bringing steel in here and working,” Hadsell said.
Dean was not available Thursday to comment on the request for extension, but earlier this month he lauded the construction process in New Boston.
“The construction process has been really well managed. I can tell you that J&H have done a really superb job for us. They really have. Compared to some of things that I’ve done in my career, this one’s been not only the largest, but it’s also been the smoothest in terms of construction,” Dean said.
After beginning construction in April, the company received more than 1,000 applications and conducted more than 300 interviews before they hired about 34 employees and trained them at their Connecticut facility.
The New Boston Infra-Metals is located on 1 Sturgill’s Way, in the Bob Walton Sr. Industrial Park — named for SOPA Board Members Mick Sturgill (retired) and the late Bob Walton Sr. For more information about the company, visit them online at www.infra-metals.com.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter. Wayne Allen (@WayneAllenPDT) also contributed information for this story.