OTTAWA — Ottawa's industrial sector got a spark in 2012.
“We had a pretty good year in 2012. We’re looking forward to a better year in 2013,” said Jeff Loehrke, Ottawa's economic development director, during his "state of the village" address at the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon meeting Tuesday at the Schnipke Inn.
Loehrke said the number of building permits for new houses (six) increased this past year. While business permits were down significantly this year, to two, the numbers did not accurately reflect the activity that occurred in the industrial sector, especially in Highland Industrial Park:
• Whirlpool added a new trash compactor line. This brought an additional 30 jobs to the plant and helped stabilize employment there.
• Steel Technologies had a large capital investment in machinery and equipment, which added five to nine new jobs.
• Silgan Plastics, which made a $13 million expansion in 2011, is well-positioned for growth.
• J.B. Machining Concepts added a 6,000-square foot warehouse to free up its existing facility for business growth.
• Industrial Millwright Services will break ground in the spring of 2013.
• Paulding-Putnam Electric Co-op is spending $1.3 million to upgrade its substation at the intersection of Woodland and Industrial drives. This will nearly double the capacity of the substation and will help the village in marketing the 100-plus acres it owns in the industrial park.
• Due to all this activity and the anticipated increase in truck traffic in the industrial park, Ottawa secured grants to make improvements to the state Route 65-Williamstown Road intersection and Williamstown Road out to Steel Technologies. The grants, which were obtained from the Ohio Department of Development and Ohio Department of Transportation, offset the total cost of the project ($760,000); the village’s portion of the cost was $60,000. The project will be completed later this year.
• Trilogy Health Services also announced it planned to construct a new health care campus on Putnam Parkway, on the village’s north side. The $6 million project will add an estimated 28 new jobs to those already in place at the current facility. Ottawa will work with Trilogy to secure grant dollars assisting in completing the extension of Putnam Parkway to state Route 15. Construction on the health care campus is expected to begin this spring, with the road construction to follow.
Loehrke said Ottawa collected $1,451,481 in income taxes in 2012, which continued the trend of a steady increase over the past five years. Ottawa’s annual average unemployment rate was 5.97 percent, one of the five lowest among Ohio’s 88 counties. The Village secured $1,678,586 in grants from six separate entities.
Loehrke also recognized businesses that expanded in the last year, including Ottawa Chevrolet, Ottawa Ordnance, and Guys and Dolls Hair Company, as well as new businesses Gift Emporium, Oh My Ganache Cupcakes and Cavern Club Winery.