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Plant intends to call Crawford home

Animal bedding shaving facility would employ 15 to 25

July 01, 2009
Another company has announced intentions to locate within Crawford County.

Smith Creek LLC officials announced at Friday morning's Crawford County Board of Commissioners' meeting at the judicial complex in English plans to invest $3.2 million to construct an animal bedding shaver plant on the western side of the county.

Jeff Roll, who lives in Crawford County and is the project and site manager, said the plant, which would produce bedding for poultry, horses, hogs, cattle and turkeys from wood shavings, would employ 15 to 25 people, with hourly wages between $10 and $30.

"The skill range will be typical of what you would find at a sawmill," he said.

Officials estimate the total average annual payroll would be between $700,000 to $915,000 with a tax payment to the county of $40,000.

Roll said the company is looking at various locations but has an option to purchase 30 acres in far western Crawford County — he declined to give the exact location, but said the site was chosen due to its proximity to poultry growers — and described the size of the actual facility as "not small, but not grandiose."

Matthew Smith, plant manager at Koetter & Smith Inc. near Borden, a sister company of Smith Creek, said the plant would occupy about five acres initially, but officials would like extra space for parking and storage.

The plant, according to literature presented by company officials, would convert low-value sawmill residues and logs unsuitable for the production of lumber into litter and bedding that would be sold in bulk and bag form.

Expected to emit 55 to 70 tons of particulate matter each year, about the same as 60 woodstoves, the plant would use about 1/45 of the amount of fuel as the Domtar papermill at Hawesville, Ky. It would have one stack with a height of about 60 feet and circumference of 34 inches. No water would be discharged, as water only would be needed for hand-washing and fire protection.

Smith, however, cautioned that the estimated emissions amount could vary if changes are made to the design of the facility.

Roll said officials hope to have the facility operational in six to 10 months, but added that is contingent on the site clearing environmental hurdles.

"We would like your blessing on the project" and permission to move forward with plans to seek a tax abatement, Roll told the commissioners.

Don DuBois, the county's economic development di-rector, said the Redevelopment Commis-sion must declare the site a revitalization area before Smith Creek officials can request an abatement from the county council.

DuBois explained that the abatement would not affect the tax on the land, just the improvements from constructing the plant and installing equipment, and would enable taxes on the improvements to be added incrementally.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to give their blessing for the company to move forward.

The announcement is the second for Crawford County in recent months. Liberty Green Renewables LLC in December announced plans to build a woody biomass-to-electricity plant north of Milltown.

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  1. print email
    July 01, 2009 | 09:13 AM

    I think it is great that Crawford finally has a couple of businesses interested in opperating their facilities within the county. This means we will be receiving much needed tax dollars.

  2. print email
    New Plants
    July 03, 2009 | 08:52 AM

    I agree with the above writer -- it's great that Crawford County is finally getting businesses. But, if they keep giving these companies tax abatement, where are the "much needed tax dollars?"

  3. print email
    new plant
    July 03, 2009 | 06:34 PM

    Seems like it would make the most sense to locate that facility in the industrial park rather than on 30 acres somewhere else. The whole purpose of having a zoned industrial area is to confine industries to one area rather than having them sprawl all over the county. People never seem to learn the purpose of proper planning and zoning.

Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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