One of the “most significant” recent business investments in Defiance County is how the county’s top economic development official describes a planned fertilizer plant in Enterprise Industrial Park.
Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) Director Erika Willitzer provided that description during the organization’s monthly board meeting held electronically via Zoom Thursday afternoon.
The new facility planned by Tessenderlo Group — a multi-national corporation based in Belgium — will be built on Quality Drive in Enterprise Industrial Park, just west of Standridge Color Corporation’s Integrity Drive location. The project includes a 45-acre land transaction.
The company previously announced its intention to build the plant in Defiance, but for now doesn’t want to disclose the investment, which is large, according to Willitzer.
“This is a very large investment,” she said. “The company does not want to announce the dollar amount yet, but it is significant and it’s probably one of the more significant ones we’ve had in the county in recent years.”
Willitzer told the board that the company will provide 17 “high-paying positions.”
Defiance Mike McCann had told The Crescent-News in December that the plant will utilize natural gas to make fertilizer for the agricultural community.
Planned not far from there is a plant that will make stone facades for homes and business. Legislation related to this development has been approved by Defiance City Council in recent months.
According to Willitzer, a property transaction closing for that company is imminent.
Elsewhere, she said her office had two “project visits” in Sherwood and Hicksville while “a lot of requests” concerning incentives are being received from companies that hope to expand.
Too, Willitzer updated the board on efforts to work with Vancrest of Hicksville on a planned $11 million new facility there as well as a possible expansion in Milford Township for Weber Sand and Gravel. County officials have been working on a project to rebuild Kramer Road to bolster Weber’s plans.
In other business Thursday, the board:
• received the monthly report from the CIC’s workforce development manager, Kortney Williams. Among the highlights: She is working with officials from Ayersville, Defiance, Four County and Tinora schools on business-related bus tours for students. Meanwhile, an “educator boot camp” is scheduled from June 6-9 involving Defiance County teachers and the CIC is working on a wage and benefit survey for local businesses.
• learned from the the board’s treasurer, Tyson Stuckey, that the CIC received $128,000 last year from private investors. This was slightly above the $127,000 received in 2020. This information was part of the financial report the board approved Thursday.
• learned that Jeremy Jiminez, a Defiance College student from Florida seeking a graphic design degree, has joined the CIC as an intern. Jiminez joined the CIC meeting via Zoom.