JobsOhio to visit HTI building

By Brandon Klein -

Officials from JobsOhio are expected to visit the former the former Hydraulic Technologies LLC building next week.

HTI, which specialized in custom-welded hydraulic cylinders, announced in April it will close its doors by the end of year. The move was made by Ligon Industries LLC, HTI’s parent company. The company employed about 70 positions.

The owners were interested in donating the 300,000 square-foot facility to the city.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said the private, nonprofit economic development corporation will determine if the building qualifies for its revitalization program.

According to its website, the JobsOhio Revitalization Program Loan and Grant Fund is designed to support the acceleration of redeveloping sites in Ohio. Available funding from the program offers loans ranging $500,000 to $5 million, between 20-75 percent of the eligible costs for a 10-15 year term; and grants for up to $1 million.

The nonprofit’s role is part of an overall coordinated effort to provide Galion City Council enough information on whether to accept the gift, O’Leary said.

The city has also hired InSite Consulting Group, based in Greer, S.C., to determine the marketability of the South Street location by early December. O’Leary said the city will pay the firm about $4,000, which will come from the mayor’s budget.

The mayor said the building has potential for expanding or bringing in new industries to the community. He and Crawford County Economic Development Coordinator Gary Frankhouse have connected with local businesses interested in the venue over the past several months.

Due to a condition for accepting the gift, the city would be unable to sell the property for three years but could lease the property, O’Leary said.

Aside from the HTI building, JobsOhio will also look at the former GE Power Electronics building, 1376 state Route 598, which has been vacant for two years.

By Brandon Klein

Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.