Kingsford OKs agreement for toolmaker’s site


News Editor

KINGSFORD – Kingsford Broach & Tool Inc. is following through on plans announced earlier this summer to build a new $2.5 million manufacturing facility.

Kingsford City Council on Monday approved a purchase and development agreement for the project, which will occupy a 6.5-acre city parcel at the corner of Knudsen Drive and Maule Drive. The company is paying $13,000 to acquire the site, while the city is responsible for an environmental assessment.

The company plans to build 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, according to Mark Schultz, Kingsford Broach & Tool president.

In connection with the project, the city has scheduled a public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, on the company’s application for an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate. Under that state program, the company is eligible for a 50 percent property tax reduction for up to 12 years, said Tony Edlebeck, city manager.

Apart from an extension of electrical power, utilities are already in place at the site.

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

At that time, Schultz said the company employed 34 manufacturing workers and nine office employees and hoped to add 10 more workers in the next five to 10 years.

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:

– In a 4-1 vote, accepted a $6,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to assist in the acquisition and equipping of a new patrol car. The city’s projected share, through a state purchasing program, is about $20,000. Council member Brian Smeester voted no, saying the city should instead consider limiting patrol miles or investing in repairs and engine/transmission replacements for cars in the existing fleet. Council member Michael Flaminio disagreed, saying emergency vehicles are too important to risk breakdowns and limiting patrols will lead to more crime. Mayor Dennis Baldinelli said repairs are not necessarily cost-effective on vehicles that are approaching 200,000 miles of use.

– Heard Smeester voice concerns about winter sidewalk maintenance on the three Carpenter Avenue intersections being upgraded this summer by the Michigan Department of Transportation (Woodward, East Boulevard and Breen). New pedestals being installed for pedestrian crossing signals will create “a tight squeeze” for snow removal, Edlebeck confirmed. More information will be sought from MDOT before the city decides whether new equipment is needed.

– Approved a recommendation from its consulting forester, VanOss Forestry Services of Crystal Falls, to accept the high bid from Minerick Logging of Sagola to harvest timber from a 40-acre city-owned parcel near Nocerini Road in Breitung Township. Minerick’s bid, opened Aug. 19, was $50,516. Five other loggers competed for the harvest, which mainly consists of mature aspen. VanOss will receive a 10 percent commission for overseeing the sale.

– After conducting a public hearing and receiving no comments, approved a zoning variance for Alan and Monica Erickson for a garage at 604 Hamilton Ave. The new garage will have the same five-foot alley setback as the garage that is being replaced. The zoning requirement is 10 feet, but Flaminio noted that most garages along the alley have setbacks in the range of five feet.

– Met in closed session to discuss land purchase negotiations. No action was taken when the council returned to open session.

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