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Menards gets $175K grant for rail work in NE Ohio

WARREN — A home improvement chain investing nearly $52 million to build a distribution and manufacturing center in Ravenna has gotten a state grant to spur on the project.

Wisconsin-based Menards, which has 300 stores across the U.S. including its Elm Road NE, Warren, store, was awarded $175,000 from the Ohio Rail Development Commission to build rail infrastructure at the proposed 65-acre site.

The Record-Courier in Ravenna reported the site is on state Route 88.

“This project will service our northeast Ohio / western Pennsylvania retail stores. The 65-acre site requires rail and involves a little more than a mile of track rehab that we are working on with the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway. ORDC funding is important to us to help with the extra costs associated with this project,” said Nick Brenner, real estate representative for Menards Inc.

The facility will be a truss plant, concrete plant, bagging plant, transload operation, and a crossdock distribution facility to support the company’s expansion into the Midwest. About 90 new jobs will be created. The total investment for the rail project is $490,000, with Menards contributing $315,000.

“It is always our goal to work with our local and state economic development partners to promote investment and employment opportunities in Ohio,” said Matthew Dietrich, commission executive director.

Already, according to the Record-Courier, Ravenna’s planning commission has approved the plans for the facility, and Menards has a 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement on the project. The facility will have a payroll of about $3.5 million, according to the newspaper.

The commission helps Ohio companies and communities create and retain jobs by preserving rail service to shipping and providing rail service to new customers. Also, it funds projects to improve railroad / highway grade crossings to improve safety.

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