Kingsford company to expand


News Editor

KINGSFORD – Kingsford Broach & Tool Inc. is proposing a new $2.5 million manufacturing facility in Kingsford.

The company, located at 850 East Blvd. in Kingsford, wants to acquire a 6.5-acre city-owned parcel at the corner of Knudsen Drive and Maule Drive.

The city council agreed Monday to move forward on a proposed development agreement.

“We’re looking at breaking ground in the spring,” said Mark Schultz, Kingsford Broach & Tool president. “This is the first step.”

The company employs 34 manufacturing workers and nine office employees and hopes to add 10 more workers in the next five to 10 years, Schultz told the council

The proposed purchase price for the parcel, which is zoned for such development, is $2,000 per acre.

The company proposes a new 31,200 square foot facility consisting of 26,600 square feet of heated and air conditioned manufacturing space; 4,600 square feet of office space; and a paved parking lot for approximately 35 to 40 vehicles.

The estimated $2.5 million cost includes $1 million in new equipment, Schultz said.

“We’re happy that they’re looking to stay in the city of Kingsford,” said Tony Edlebeck, Kingsford city manager.

Apart from an extension of electrical power, utilities are in place for a new building, Edlebeck said. The city must also perform an environmental assessment of the property, which is typical for such sales, he said.

Besides providing space for new equipment, the building will allow for streamlined production and an expansion of product lines, Schultz said. There is no room for expansion at the East Boulevard site (in the former Ford Motor Co. complex), which is approaching the end of its useful life, he added.

As part of the project, the company plans to apply for an Industrial Facilities Tax (IFT) certificate, offered by the state to abate a portion of the property taxes for up to 12 years.

Kingsford Broach plans to use local contractors for construction, Schultz noted.

Established in 1968, Kingsford Broach & Tool produces cutting tools for industries worldwide. The company also offers repair, reconditioning and sharpening services to its customers.

In other action Monday, the Kingsford council:

– Authorized spending $28,500 for complete curb replacement as part of the ongoing Hamilton Avenue resurfacing project. The work – being done by Bacco Construction Co. under a Michigan Department of Transportation contract – runs from Union Street (near Flivver Field) west to North Boulevard. About 30 percent of the curb replacements had been eliminated as a cost-saving measure, but the city will now pick up the cost to have all of the curbing replaced. The project is aided by a $160,000 MDOT grant and the additional curbing work will raise the total construction contract to about $244,000.

– Approved street closings in connection with the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Independence Day parade, organized by Americans for Constitutional Enforcement (ACE). It will begin at 9:15 a.m. July 4. As in recent years, the parade will line up on Pyle Drive, proceed on Balsam Street north to Woodward Avenue, then east to Carpenter Avenue, north to H Street in Iron Mountain and east on H Street to the Midtown Mall. In connection with the parade, the city of Kingsford will provide up to $250 to assist in securing liability insurance coverage.

– In a 4-1 vote, adopted a resolution that prohibits individual council members from representing the city in soliciting or securing bids – or in making offers on behalf of the city to provide city services or goods – without prior approval from the council. Voting no was council member Brian Smeester, who had previously criticized the resolution as potentially restricting freedom of speech.

– Agreed, at the request of the Dickinson Bike Path Committee, to examine potential bike-pedestrian routes in the city, particularly on Hooper Street, Balsam Street, Pyle Drive, Evergreen Court, East Boulevard and Woodward Avenue. Possibly, a city loop could be created, said Bob Werner, committee president.

– Adopted, in a 4-1 vote, a resolution establishing non-union salaries and wages for fiscal year 2013-14. Generally, the new scale provides pay increases of 2.5 percent, said council member Michael Flaminio. Also, since July 2012, these employees have been required to pay 20 percent of the cost for their health insurance coverage. Smeester voted no, saying the employees are doing a fine job, but costs need to be held in check.

– Declared a vacancy for one lieutenant in the public safety department, effective with the planned retirement of Lt. William Burby. Under the salary schedule, the starting annual pay for a lieutenant is $63,000.

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