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MILLERSBURG -- Although approved for a partial tax abatement, the expansion of a local business is expected to bring in additional jobs, wages and an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 in property taxes over the next 10 years.
The Holmes County commissioners on June 19 approved an enterprise zone agreement with Krestview Woodcraft, located at 1274 County Road 144, Sugarcreek. The business makes wood and poly outdoor furniture and lawn structures-- gazebos, pavilions and pergolas -- and is owned by Brian L. Mullet, Marlin R. Mullet and John L. Mullet.
Approval of the enterprise zone will help to facilitate expansion of the company's manufacturing and warehousing capacity through construction of a 56,000-square-foot building on the existing property, according to the agreement.
"The money saved as a result of the reduced real estate tax obligation will enable the company to invest in hiring and training new employees and will enable the company to construct a facility that will permit the company's future growth and expansion," according to the EZ application, prepared by Brian Mullet, who said the new building primarily will be used to warehouse raw materials for the poly line, which has seen incredible growth in recent years.
Mullet said he did not know about the enterprise zone program until he had started his last building project. This time, he started the process early.
"It definitely helps. Whenever you can get a tax break, it helps you invest funds into the company and help with more growth and create jobs," Mullet said, adding, "I think it's important our local government, the commissioners, work with us as business owners so we can have a good business environment."
Mark Leininger, executive director of the Holmes County Economic Development Council, said he's pleased he was able to provide the help sought by Mullet.
"We're happy the word is getting out about the enterprise zone program. This is a good company -- a family operation -- that started small and grew over the years. We like to see businesses like this grow in Holmes County," said Leininger, who said many businesses, like Krestview, are unaware of the program or inquire too late.
"Often they're ready and have their contractors lined up. But, the process takes a long time, and it often comes down to delaying or forging ahead without an enterprise zone," said Leininger, glad Mullet contacted him far enough in advance.
As part of the agreement, Krestview Woodcraft will commit to creating three new full-time jobs in the three years following completion, according to Leininger. Construction is slated to begin in September and should be completed by May.
The additional payroll represents $140,000 annually. The company currently employs 29 full-time employees, who earn a total annual payroll of about $1.4 million.
"I feel we have a very good work force in Holmes County here and it's important that work force can work here in Holmes County instead of having that work force go into other counties to work," said Mullet, adding, "We have a good work ethic and we're very blessed with that."
The total cost of the project is estimated at $1 million in building and $200,000 in equipment and furnishings, said Leininger, noting that the 50 percent exemption of real property tax granted applies only to new construction at the site.
Mullet said he would encourage others to explore the option of using an enterprise zone. "Mark has been very good to work with, very helpful. Everyone I've talked to has been very helpful.
"It will help free up funds to go into the project and do hiring," he said, continuing, "It will free up funds I can use to enhance our business and work environment and hire more employees."
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or email@example.com.