BOW vote clears way for local business expansion

PLYMOUTH — A local businesses’ growth will mean another tenant for Plymouth’s TechFarm on the city’s west side.
During the meeting of Plymouth’s Board of Public Works and Safety, an agreement to waive proceeds of land sales was approved.
Dave Miller from VanVactor Farms, the owner of the land that makes up TechFarm, and Jennifer Laurent, executive director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation gave a presentation to the board.
Miller talked about how VanVactor Farms and the city decided to pursue TechFarm as a place to bring in high-tech companies with potential for growth.
Miller explained that Kessler Crane, currently on East Jefferson Street in Plymouth, serviced the entertainment industry with cranes and booms for production.
“They’ve just outgrown (their current space) at this point,” said Miller.
“They came to me and said ‘We’re at 800 percent growth’,” said Laurent who claimed the waiver of land sale proceeds by the town and VanVactor Farms was essential to making Kessler’s move to TechFarm work.
Laurent stressed that not only is Marshall County competing with neighboring counties to bring in new businesses and keep current ones, but that it’s competing nationally and internationally as well.
Right now, Kessler employs 30 people but Laurent said they would add another 10 jobs with more space and could be up to 100 employees by 2015.
Kessler Crane’s plan is to build a 30,000 square-foot facility. That is more than three times the size of their current building.
Miller said Kessler would start building this fall and have already contacted DJ Construction out of Warsaw to be the builder.
In other business at Monday’s meeting:
– The board voted in favor 3-2 to allow Com Control place communication equipment on the city’s west water tower. In exchange, the utilitiy department will receive a boost in its internet service. Board members Donald Ecker Jr. and Shawn Grobe voted against the proposal.
– Mayor Senter let the board of works and city employees know that he’ll be out of town starting Saturday for a week. Mike Delp, president pro tempore of the city council, will serve in Senter’s place should the need arise.
– Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson gave a report on utilities projects in the city.