Kyle Klaric believes at least some of the $7 million in state funds targeted for economic development in Mercer County should remain here.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
FARRELL, Pa. -- The president of Premier Hydraulics Inc. has plans to double his company operations and bring a new company into town, and he wants some state money to help him do it.
Kyle M. Klaric said Friday that the state capital budget program had earmarked $7 million for development of the former Westinghouse Electric Corp. plant in Sharon as an industrial and office park.
That project has fallen through, however, and the money is unused, he said, adding that Premier Hydraulics and West Bank Holdings LLC, a Detroit-based company, can make use of $2 million of those funds.
Klaric said Premier Hydraulics plans to sell its 26,000-square-foot building at 10 Fruit Ave. to West Bank Holdings for use as a metal plating, brazing and assembly plant.
Cost estimate: Lorenzo Williams, West Bank president, estimated the project cost at about $2 million, saying that he has the financial commitment for $1 million, the money he would need to match a $1 million allocation from the state capital budget program.
West Bank would create 35 to 40 jobs immediately and perhaps double that within two years, he said.
Klaric, a Democratic candidate for state Senate this year, said his fitting and valve manufacturing operation has outgrown its facility and needs more space.
He wants to put up a new building, preferably in Farrell, that would provide 50,000 square feet of space and allow him to move his 85 employees there as well as to bring the Klaric Forge & amp; Machine Inc. plant in Atlantic, Pa., here, adding 10 jobs immediately.
An additional 30 to 40 jobs would eventually be created by the expansion of operations, he added.
The catch: The problem is that the $7 million in capital budget funds isn't available for any project other than the Westinghouse industrial park plan.
Under the program regulations, the unused money will be returned to the pool of available funds for other projects the state deems eligible for that assistance.
State Rep. Michael Gruitza of Hermitage, D-7th, said he's willing to place the Premier Hydraulics and West Bank projects in a new capital budget authorizing bill now being considered to get them eligible for those funds.
The $7 million was earmarked for a Mercer County project, and the county should get a shot at getting some of that money back, he said.