By Jim Young
Two Crossville businesses are planning expansions and the Crossville City Council agreed to requests that could add some 90 new jobs to the local economy.
The two firms, TLD Logistics and CoLinx both made presentations at the council's regular meeting to talked about their plans and the benefits to the community from their expansions. Both companies are seeking at least some help from the city for their expansions.
CoLinx has been in Crossville for many years and made several previous expansions. With the new expansion, the company would stay in Crossville until at least 2027. Ed Camera, vice president at Crossville's CoLinx operation, said the planned expansion would be an investment of $9 million and be 210,000 square feet of additional floor space.
Camera said the company’s partners included three of the five largest bearing manufacturers in the world. Camera added the company was back to better than pre-recession utilization levels and they had not laid off any full-time hourly employees, even at the worst of the recession.
According to Camera, 77 percent of CoLinx employees live in Cumberland County and the company's payroll is estimated to provide 22 percent of per-capita disposable income in the county.
“We are a substantial economic engine for the county,” added Camera.
Over the additional 10 years of the commitment to stay, CoLinx would put an additional $600 million into the state economy. Camera said the company has had offers from other states to relocate if the expansion is not completed because, without it, they would no longer be competitive.
The company has requested funding from the state of Tennessee for an infrastructure fast track grant. Because the expansion is on the back of CoLinx current property, road widening and redirection of a creek are required.
The environmental impact work and wetland mitigation with a fire access road is expected to cost just over $1 million. The state grant covers just over $770,000 and CoLinx is requesting one third of the balance from the city or about $100,000. CoLinx will cover the balance.
In addition, CoLinx is asking the city to support their application for an industrial access road to widen and improve Cox Ave. to relieve truck traffic congestion on Genesis Road and serve the new addition.
Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III moved to have the city agree to the requests from CoLinx, including the funding and work to improve Cox Ave. The motion was approved unanimously by council.
TLD Logistics President and CEO David Jones also spoke to the council and shared information about his company and their plans for future expansion. TLD has been in Crossville for a few years as it looks to expand its business. TLD is subsidiary of Toyota and has handed automotive transport but is looking at new areas to expand.
TLD is only four years old but is a fast growing transportation provider. Because of the growth, TLD has outgrown their current facility and is seeking to purchase additional property next to what they currently own and plan to construct additional facilities.
TLD wants to purchase 5.4 acres at the Interchange Business Park at a price of $250,000. The company would get a credit of $5,000 for each of up to 25 additional employees they hire. That would cut the price of the land in half for the firm. The company plans to invest $500,000 in a new shop facility and expects the Crossville operation to be their largest facility in 24 months, according to the letter of commitment.
Currently TLD has 74 employees and that would increase to 103 with a payroll of $6.9 million annually, up from $4.8 million currently. The total local investment would be $14.1 million once the expansion is complete. The construction of a 10,000 square foot facility would start within 12 months of the purchase.
Councilman Pete Souza commented just before the vote on the matter was taken saying, “I had questions and looked into this and determined it was a 'win-win' situation. I'd like to welcome the expansion.”
The motion was approved unanimously.