Deal could mean 100 jobs for community
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Once the final stages of a months-long process are complete, Alexandria will officially become the new home of a defense contractor and eventually 100 new jobs.
Alexandria Mayor Jack Woods said he is excited about the possibilities that exist with Floatograph Technologies coming to Alexandria at the former U.S. Pipe facility on West Sixth Street. The deal is just awaiting a property exchange, he said. The company that owns the now dilapidated facility are donating it to the city. Floatograph will buy the property for $75,000 from the Alexandria Redevelopment Commission.
“Our main goal is to keep the property on the tax roll,” Woods said. “It is all rundown and they plan to fix it up and make it a workable factory creating eventually 100 jobs, which in the times we are in right now is a great opportunity.”
The benefits will go far beyond the city, but he is most excited about what it means for Alexandria.
“The best part is the jobs, of course,” Woods said. “But this is a great opportunity for the city of Alexandria to show everyone what we have been trying to show people all along — we are a viable city, not just a bedroom community. Hopefully this factory will spawn interest for other businesses coming to Alexandria. We have everything they need right here.”
Floatograph co-owner Frank Liestenfeltz said the move to Alexandria will be a great opportunity for the company providing them with the much needed opportunity to expand from its current Fairmount location, which currently employs 25, some of which will remain in Fairmount and some will come to the Alexandria facility.
The company owns the ideas for products like the specialized utility trailers with telescoping masts, which are being manufactured in Fairmount and will be manufactured in Alexandria. Floatograph contracts other companies to build the products for Floatograph in their facilities. Then Floatograph sells the products — mostly to the military and military contractors, he explained.
Liestenfeltz said they are hoping to start two brand-new lines at the new plant but for right now are focusing on finishing the deal and making the needed repairs and remodels to the facility once they have the deed.
“We are ready to go as soon as we can get in,” he said. “The city made such a good deal for the property we couldn’t refuse. They wanted our business, and we wanted the facility.”
The jobs that eventually will come include welders, fitters, electricians, office help, logistics, assemblers and others once the plant gets online, hopefully by the end of July, Liestenfeltz said. The wages would be between $12 and $35 an hour, he said, but most of those hires won’t happen until later in the year.
Alexandria’s Economic Development Director John Dockery said he worked for three years to get possession of the old factory property for the city so it could be used for a new plant.
“It is a great opportunity for everyone involved,” he said. “It is a great company with good people that is opening the door initially for 25 jobs and eventually 75 more. It creates hope, something people need now more than anything. When people see this coming to Alexandria they will see there are many other opportunities. This is the first of many more to come.”
Getting the money to the redevelopment commission allows the town to continue to invest in properties making them more enticing to companies looking to relocate or expand, Dockery said.
Redevelopment Commission President Brian Donahue said the Alexandria property is a perfect fit for the company, something Liestenfeltz said he’s excited about as well with a roof clearance of 35 feet compared to 15 feet in Fairmount. The company will invest about $300,000 in the plant on repairs and remodeling.
“We like to keep buildings full and utilize the assets we have in our community,” Donahue said. “And, of course, this will give us the opportunity to look for parallel businesses or businesses that could enhance Floatograph. We will do what we can to find whatever fit we can for companies.”
Contact Abbey Doyle: 640-4805, email@example.com