City eyes deal to keep firm, 162 jobs here


Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber, a business in the city of Delaware’s industrial park, is the subject of two pieces of legislation to be considered at tonight’s City Council meeting.

The company and its landlord, METAL STARS II LLC, is seeking to build a 40,000-square-foot expansion for its 14.7-acre facility at 759 Pittsburgh Drive. The 36-foot-tall addition would consist of 14,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 26,000 square feet of warehouse space. This would increase the building’s size to 127,368 square feet. There would also be three truck docks and four overhead doors, and the addition of 40 spaces to the 99-space parking lot.

The city’s planning commission unanimously approved the final development plan for the expansion on April 6. Now council has to approve the plan, as well as incentive agreements.

The $2.6 million expansion is needed because Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber’s lease on a facility for heat insulation metal stamping at 487 London Road is being terminated.

“They have explored a few Southeast U.S. states in order to be closer to some of the automotive manufacturers who are their customers,” states a fact sheet prepared for council for city staff. “They have stated that if they are to open a Southeast U.S. operation, they may move their entire operation including headquarters to this new location.”

Keeping Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber in Delaware would allow the city to retain a total of 162 employees at an annual payroll of $5.86 million, or $108,410 in city income tax per year. The expansion would allow the company to hire 18 full-time employees with a payroll of $540,000 in four years.

The city’s tax incentive negotiating committee, which has representatives from the county, Delaware City Schools and Delaware Area Career Center, has recommended an agreement with Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber. The incentives consist of a 100 percent, 10-year Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement estimated at $305,167, or nearly 12 percent of the total investment; and compensating the school district and career center a combined $99,501 over the 10 years.

The incentives could be modified if the company doesn’t meet the job or payroll commitment.

The company’s website said it “is a leading authority on technology and development of acoustical and thermal composite products.” It makes heat- and sound-shielding products from fiberglass, basalt and ceramic fibers for transportation original equipment manufacturers in North America. At one time located in Ostrander, the company built its Delaware headquarters in 1989, adding the London Road facility in 1994.

The public may attend the meeting, at 7 p.m. in the second floor of City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.

The entrance of Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber at 759 Pittsburgh Drive. City Council will consider two items for the company tonight. entrance of Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber at 759 Pittsburgh Drive. City Council will consider two items for the company tonight. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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