Johnson: I did not sell to port authority
By D.A. Wilkinson
David Johnson was not pleased with news accounts that his company was sold to the Columbiana County Port Authority.
In a statement this week, Johnson told his workers that Summitville Tiles was working with the port authority in securing federal funds for the demolition of the tunnel kilns and driers at the company’s closed Summitville facility.
Johnson explained that Summitville Tiles has entered into an agreement that would allow the port authority to buy the facility, have the work done, and then return it to Summitville Tile.
Johnson said Summitville Tiles did not “sell out” to the port authority.
A grant that would pay for the work has not been approved.
Johnson said the port authority has exclusive access to the grant process.
Tracy Drake, the chief executive officer for the port authority, said Wednesday that the work would cost about $750,000.
Johnson said the company will take back the property if the grant is denied or when the work is completed.
The 2004 restructuring plan adopted by Summitville Tiles included the closure of the company’s North Carolina manufacturing site and the consolidation of all of it’s Ohio quarry and brick manufacturing operations into its Pekin, Ohio, plant. That left the Summitville plant idle. The company also reduced the number of products it manufactures from 10,000 items to 2,500 items.