The location for an anticipated new steel plant in rural Delta is being primed for external construction, but it’s Mother Nature who may decide when that process begins.
The 67-acre site on County Road H selected by Canada-based Nova Steel has been undergoing preparation for building since last fall, said Matt Gilroy, executive director of the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation. But erection of the estimated $75 million plant’s steel frame, scheduled to begin in May, may be somewhat dependent on the region’s fickle weather conditions.
“The time frame for construction will depend a bit on Ohio weather. If weather cooperates, steel erection will begin in the next few months,” Gilroy said.
According to Fulton County Administrator Vond Hall, the 400,000 square-foot plant will produce steel tubing for automobiles and other uses. Nova Steel preferred to locate near North Star Bluescope Steel outside of Delta in order to buy that plant’s steel material for the tubing process.
Three phases of completion are planned. The plant received a 10-year 100 percent tax abatement in an agreement to locate in Delta rather than in Michigan.
A related $900,000 project to reconstruct County Road H between State Highway 109 and County Road 8-1 will give the plant convenient access to the Indiana & Ohio Railway, which crosses County Road H. The property being prepared for the steel plant borders the railway.
Hayley Dockery, of the Fulton County Engineer’s Office, said that work will include minor drainage adjustments, gutter grading, widening the road, removing existing asphalt and road base, and resurfacing.
Half the funding for the road project will be provided by a Development Services Agency 629 Grant. Other funding includes a Jobs and Commerce Economic Development Grant, at 15% of the project cost; a Fulton County Transportation Improvement District Grant, at 24.2%; and a Community Development Block Grant, at 10.4%.
Bids will open April 8 at 9 a.m. The road work is scheduled for completion Sept. 17.
Gilroy said Nova Steel will be a boon to the area, creating 100 new jobs and increasing sales tax collections through purchases by the company and its employees. The plant will also add approximately $50,000 annually to Delta’s income tax coffers and offer benefits from the state’s Commercial Activity Tax.
Based in Lasalle, Montreal, Canada, Nova Steel also has locations in the U.S. and Mexico. Job applications for the Delta location will be available once the plant’s construction begins.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.