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Expansion could create 18 full-time jobs

Cary Ashby • Feb 1, 2018 at 4:00 AM

New Horizons Baking Co. is planning on expanding and Norwalk city council approved a job creation grant Tuesday to allow for that possibility.

The investment for New Horizons includes $440,000 in additions/new construction, $3.6 million in machinery in equipment and is expected to create 18 full-time permanent positions on or before Dec. 31, according to city hall documentation.

“New Horizons Baking Co. has loved working in the Norwalk community for the past 50-plus years. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to grow our business significantly in 2018 and the support from the community means a great deal to us in our decision-making process. Due to this support and our exceptional workforce in the Norwalk area, we look forward to finalizing decisions and a formal annoucement soon regarding upcoming projects,” said Tilmon Brown, owner and CEO.

John Allen, New Horizons chief financial officer, spoke to council Tuesday and estimated the payroll for the 18 jobs would be $760,000 to $770,000 annually.

“We are looking to make a decision soon,” he added, but noted the company is waiting for a final decision from its customer which he didn’t name. “We think they will be favorable. … Nothing is written in stone.”

Allen said New Horizons is excited to continue its 51-year partnership with Norwalk.

“It has been a beneficial partnership for us and the city,” he added.

Council members Steve Schumm and Bryan Lamb, after Allen’s brief statements, expressed their support for the possible growth.

“I hope Norwalk gets the expansion,” Lamb said.

In other council action, Norwalk Public Works Director Josh Snyder discussed applying for an Ohio Department of Transportation grant for improvement to a stretch of West Main Street. The grant is for 2023 money.

The nearly $3.25 million project includes digging up the road base and trolley tracks and ties. Snyder said this the third time the city has applied for the ODOT grant, which requires a match of $615,479 from Norwalk.

“This would be the first phase,” Snyder said.

The project would go from east of South West Street to west of Sycamore Drive and is the first of three planned phases.

“I would like to do that back to back to back,” Snyder said.

The city completed a similar, multiple-phase project several years ago on East Main Street.

Five years ago, the city resurfaced West Main Street from east of South West Street to west of Sycamore Drive.

Snyder said anyone who drives that road “knows the condition is poor” and it will remain that way until the road-base problems are addressed and the trolley tracks and ties are removed. The engineer noted that most resurfacing projects should last 10 years with a proper road base.

While Snyder said he’s disappointed in the resurfacing, he’s not surprised. 

Council approved putting the grant submission for a vote on Tuesday’s agenda.

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