County to aid new business

Published 10:17 am Monday, February 20, 2012

WINTON – Hertford County local government has approved two measures that will assist a new business in putting people to work.

Recently, the county’s board of commissioners voted unanimously to approve a resolution of support for the NC Department of Transportation to install a rail spur for Structural Coatings Hertford, LLC. Additionally the board agreed to submit a pre-application to the North Carolina Rural Center for one-half of the projected $400,000 cost to install the rail spur.

Structural Coatings Hertford, scheduled to open in March, offers state of the art priming and painting of steel plate manufactured at the nearby Nucor Steel plant. The 48,856 square foot manufacturing facility is located near the intersection of NC 461 and River Road outside of Cofield.

According to Hertford County Economic Development Director Bill Early, the $200,000 request from the Rural Center will require a five percent matching grant from the county. Loria Williams, Hertford County Manager, said that money will come from the contingency fund.

Early said the county will also request a grant – in the range of $95,000 to $120,000 – from the North Carolina Department of Commerce to assist with the project. There is no requirement for matching funds from the county with that grant.

Structural Coatings Hertford will cover the difference between whatever grants are received and the actual cost of the project.

Early said the rail spur was needed in order for the company to receive steel plate from Nucor as well as for shipping the plate once the priming/painting process was completed at the Structural Coatings Hertford facility. He added that many of the materials processed at Structural Coatings Hertford are large and not feasible for highway transport, making rail the ideal option.

Structural Coatings Hertford will be sited on 40 acres of land and is expected to make a $10 million investment at its facility. Plans are to employ at least 40 workers during its first two years of operation. Early said the average annual wage is expected to be in the $30,000 range.

The facility will be equipped with fully automated blast cleaning and paint processing equipment. The steel plate painting process has been widely embraced as a method of protecting steel plate during transit, fabrication and service for many industries for over 25 years.  The new facility will promote the use of pre-construction primers for markets such as marine, rail, wind energy and mining equipment.

Structural Coatings Hertford will be managed by The Hales Group, Inc. That firm, located in Johnston County N.C., owns and operates three divisions: Structural Steel Products Corporation, The Hales Company and Structural Coatings, Inc.  The divisions specialize in fabrication for steel structures, logistics and coatings for various markets, including bridge and highway, oversize/over length freight and coatings for substructure piling in areas throughout the Mid Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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