MERCER COUNTY Bond sale OK'd to help refurbish foundry

The tax-free bonds make it less expensive for the company to borrow money.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners approved the issuance of $1.7 million in tax-exempt bonds Thursday for upgrading a Hempfield Township foundry.
The approval allows Hodge Foundry Inc. to borrow money through the sale of bonds and pay a lower interest rate on the bonds because the interest they earn is tax-free.
The Mercer County Industrial Development Authority bonds will finance the work for Hodge, 42 Leech Road, which manufactures iron castings. It is one of only three U.S. companies with the capacity to pour castings up to 200,000 pounds, according to President and General Manager Joe Simko and Dave Przybylek, managing director of Commonwealth Group, one of Hodge's primary shareholders.
The work, expected to begin in late fall, will maintain the business's 116 employees and add 25 more over three years, they said.
The upgrades
The foundry upgrades will include the addition of a loop line to manufacture castings weighing less than 10,000 pounds in an underutilized bay, the construction of five new pits in the main bay, a core room upgrade and modifications to a cleaning area to improve product flow.
The improvements will increase the number of castings the company can make in the 40,000- to 200,000-pound range as well as the ability to product small castings, Simko said.
The bonds already have been approved by the MCIDA.
Also Thursday, commissioners:
UEntered a service agreement with Keystone Adolescent Center, 270 Sharon Road, Greenville, to provide $40,094 worth of independent living services for Mercer County Children & amp; Youth Services.
URatified re-advertising for purchase of one heavy-duty accessible 10-passenger small transit bus for Mercer County Community Transit. The bus had been bid previously before officials realized none of the bidders could supply the type of bumper required by the state.
UHired Michael McKay of Greenville as part-time telecommunicator for the Enhanced 911 Center at $8.73 hourly; Fred Hofing of Greenville as administrative assistant 1 for the Mental Health/Mental Retardation office at $20,933 annually; Kim Phillips of Hermitage as senior procedure clerk for the Clerk of Courts at $11.10 hourly; Janet Whitehouse of Grove as part-time senior procedure clerk for the Clerk of Courts at $9.99 hourly; and Brian Roch of Sharpsville as part-time summer worker for the bridge department at $8.98 hourly.

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