Business Pulse – Sewer issues clog Spec Building progress – Southern Standard

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Job news is always great to hear and I like to be the one providing it.

The Industrial Development Board built Spec Building 4 with the idea of recruiting a company to bring jobs to Warren County. A hot prospect appears on the hook.

The main question at this point is whether West Warren Viola Utility can handle the sewer needs this company will require. A deal is under negotiation. The company has submitted a proposal and the IDB then requested more information about the company’s sewer needs.

“We’re trying to get companies to come in here and then our little sewer plant can’t handle it?” asked IDB member Ryan Lorance.

West Warren Viola Utility made a presentation to the IDB last month when the sewer issue was discussed. It was explained by utility representatives the issue is not in processing sewer because the plant is operating at half capacity. The problem is getting it to the plant.

IDB officials seem to think a deal is very possible for Spec Building 4, which provides a beacon of hope for more Warren County jobs.

“We were already getting them estimates for construction because they want to expand before they even get here,” said IDB executive director Don Alexander. The spec building is 50,000 square feet with the capabilities to easily expand to 100,000.

If a deal were struck tomorrow, it’s probably still a year away before the sewer needs would be met for the company to begin operations.

“I think we’re a year out. I let them know that up front and they are still very interested,” said Don.

NOVARES BUILDING LOOKS TO BE SOLD

Miniature Precision Components set up shop at Mt. View Industrial Park and established a strong business before getting bought out by Novares two years ago.

Novares, a French company, made the decision to close its Warren County plant. Now it appears another company is ready to swoop in and take over a very similar operation.

The business is plastic injection molding for the automotive industry. What that means in terms people can understand is it’s the molded parts all through your car that are made of plastic. This includes things like the dashboard and cup holders to the window washer fluid reservoir under the hood.

It looks like another company is buying the Novares building and some of its equipment.

“I know they’ve already talked to the Novares workforce and most of them want to stay,” said Don Alexander. “It’s a very similar product and that’s all I can say.”

To complete the sale, Novares will exercise its option to buy the building from the Industrial Development Board. Once Novares successfully purchases the building, it will be sold to this new company that’s super-secret.

Deals like this take time and Don estimates it won’t be complete till the end of the year. I can’t believe I let 2022 sneak up on me like that. We’re already barreling toward June and talking about things not getting done till the end of the year. What happened?

OZZY LOPEZ ON A ROLL

Ozzy Lopez has purchased our local Carquest from the national chain and it’s now under independent ownership as Ozzy’s Auto Parts/ Carquest. This will serve to make it more nimble and stronger.

Ozzy is a definite go-getter and he’s determined to take Carquest to new heights. It’s the only auto parts store on the north side of town and it can get any part for any car, truck or tractor.

“If it’s out there, we can get it,” said Ozzy.

He says Carquest specializes in heavy duty parts because that’s what the customers want. He said that includes tractors, big farm equipment, and tractor trailers.

“We cater to the commercial and nursery industry,” said Ozzy.

The parts business is in especially high demand now because there’s a shortage of used cars. There’s also few new cars coming off the assembly line because of supply chain issues. So people need to fix up what they have and keep what they’ve got running. There’s not much choice.

Carquest offers delivery and Ozzy says many people don’t know they also make hydraulic hoses and service rotors and flywheels.

Carquest is located at 1614 Smithville Highway. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The story of Ozzy wouldn’t be complete with just Carquest. He’s also a 25-year employee of Botanico and currently overseas shipping at the nursery. Ozzy has also purchased the old John Deere property at the intersection of Smithville Highway and Mitchell Road. He continues to operate a business there called Ozzy’s Truck and Trailer Repair.

Skilled mechanics Blaine Blankenship and Blake Newby help man the shop and they can fix anything that’s wrong. They repair farm equipment, small engines, passenger cars, diesel engines, semi trucks, and more.

Blaine is a smart guy and he’s earned his associate’s degree in Ag Diesel Mechanics. As a special service, they will repair on location if you can’t get the equipment to them.

Ozzy said he’s excited to have this repair shop and keep the once-thriving John Deere dealership location alive and well. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The phone number is (931) 934-1317.

INDUSTRIAL BOARD AND GARBAGE

If you’ve read the newspaper much in the past two months you know there’s trouble with two county convenience centers in Morrison and Smartt Station. The two centers are on railroad property and have to go.

This talk spilled over to the monthly Industrial Development Board meeting on Thursday where county officials asked IDB members if they would consider giving the county 1-2 acres of land for the greatest convenience center of all time.

It would be located at Mt. View Industrial Park, which turns out to be the biggest issue. IDB members didn’t seem to embrace the idea of a county dump at the industrial park.

“We entice people to locate at the industrial park because they know there are rules and regulations that will be upheld,” said IDB president Trevor Galligan. “You get into problems when you start carving out exceptions.”

Morrison Mayor Sue Anderson was in attendance and was clear she does not want the convenience center in Morrison to move one inch.

“The people of Morrison are not in favor of moving it,” said Sue. “My phone has rung off the hook since this has been mentioned.”

It’s not a matter of want. You can’t always get what you want.

But sometimes … you get what you need.

County Executive Jimmy Haley made an appearance at the meeting to say the county has been repeatedly warned by state environmental officers the Morrison site is not in compliance due to garbage leaking into a nearby creek. It’s been warnings so far, but fines are next, said Haley.

TDEC could also decide to put a halt to the convenience center in Morrison at any time.

“They could come padlock the site and say you can’t use it anymore,” said Haley.

IDB director Don Alexander didn’t seem to favor giving the county any land at the industrial park. IDB members even started suggesting other sites as possibilities to further convey their lack of interest in giving the county land.

County Commissioner Steven Helton was in attendance and pointed out the county isn’t asking for a 100-acre farm. That statement didn’t appear to be more persuasive than anything else. The Industrial Development Board doesn’t seem too likely to give the county the land for its dream convenience center which, oh by the way, might be on wetlands too.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS

There were several topics I thought I’d discuss in this week’s column about restaurants and construction but it never seemed to happen. There’s always next week, or the next.

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