3 companies eye Richfield for expansion, location

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

Oct. 21, 2014

Three manufacturers are strongly considering expanding or building in Richfield.

Deb Reinbold, business solutions specialist with Economic Development Washington County, told Richfield’s Village Board on Thursday one of the companies appears close to finalizing details while the others are strong candidates.

“It looks like the one, which is already located in the village, may close in early November on a loan with us,” Reinbold said.

Reinbold gave a presentation at the Monday meeting about EDWC’s accomplishments in 2011-13.

“The company will expand on its existing building footprint,” Reinbold said. “It’s all very exciting because the expansion will be revolutionary for the company’s industry. They’ll be creating a new product.”

Reinbold said other factors work against the village in attracting business that are not question marks elsewhere.

“One is the village does not provide water and sewer and another is it’s felt some of the village’s commercial building regulations are too strict,” Reinbold said.

“I agree, some of our regulations may be too strict,” Village Trustee Bill Collins said. “I hope we can take a look at those soon.”

“Some, over what can and can’t be used for building materials, make construction in the village more expensive than to locate elsewhere,” Reinbold said. “There needs to be an inventory of affordable locations in Richfield. Some are cost prohibitive.”

“We need to work on attracting more dry industries (industries that use little water),” Village President John Jeffords said. “Other communities have an advantage having (municipal) sewer and water.”

Jeffords said the village has land for future development along Highway 41, the Endeavor Industrial Park, but municipal water and sewer service is also unavailable there.

Reinbold said there are other factors hindering local economic development in more than just Richfield.

“That includes there isn’t the workforce, people are untrained and some people have attendance or drug issues,” Reinbold said.

Hartford Police Chief David Groves said recently that one area human resources person told him one out of every four workers who are given a drug test at the company fail, despite knowing of the test in advance.

Reinbold said other accomplishments by EDWC during 2011-13 include:

■ The goal of fueling 400 jobs in three years was reached and more than doubled with 957 by the end of 2013.

■ The fueling of 957 new jobs has a ripple effect, which has caused the creation of 1,471 jobs overall.

■ Total economic impact on the county with the creation of the new jobs totals $106.7 million.

■ The goal of $29 million in private investment in the county was met and surpassed by reaching $124.9 million.