Warren factory sold

WARREN – A factory on the west side of Warren that was built by a former city resident, who sold it to a Dutch company, has been sold again, this time to a company in Upper Sandusky that intends to continue operations as planned and maybe even expand.

”Everything is going to stay the same. They are going to keep all of the employees,” said Mark Zigmont, economic development coordinator with the Trumbull County Planning Commission, of the sale of Reinforcement Systems Inc. / van Merksteijn USA LLC to Engineered Wire Products.

Zigmont, who helped arrange paperwork for the transfer of a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement from van Merksteijn to Engineered Wire Products, said the mid-Ohio maker of wire for concrete reinforcement, is considering adding workers and a shift when business picks up in the spring.

Sixty workers are employed at the plant now. They work in two, 10-hour shifts manufacturing the steel wire systems, used to fortify concrete for bridges, buildings and for other uses. Engineered Wire Products produces the same good.

About 80 percent of the employees live in Trumbull County and about 40 percent of them live in Warren, said Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda.

”Fortunately, we’re not going to lose these jobs,” Fuda said.

Engineered Wire Products, according to its website, has been producing welded wire reinforcement since 1969 at the facility in Upper Sandusky. In addition to the facility in Warren, it recently acquired a plant in Las Cruces, N.M.

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said he is comfortable with the ownership change.

”There was an implied assurance that all jobs will remain and there was a strong potential for expansion and growth, obviously I am pleased with that,” said Franklin.

The tax break was given in 2009. Since, the ”company has lived up to all of its promises,” Franklin said. ”They have been on point with living up to all of the terms of the abatement and I expect them to do the same in the future.”

Former Warren resident Mark Marvin had the $28 million factory built in late 2009 / early 2010 on 17 acres of vacant land on Warren’s west side. The site had been for sale for more than 25 years before it was bought by Marvin.

rselak@tribtoday.com