A $1 million expansion at M.H. Eby Corporation near West Jefferson is set to begin July 7, under an agreement approved by the Madison County Commissioners on Monday.
Commissioners Dave Dhume and Mark Forrest approved a 10-year, 60 percent property tax abatement on 17,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space at the company’s enterprise zone on state Route 29, west of the village. Commissioner Paul Gross was absent for the vote.
M.H. Eby, headquartered in Pennsylvania, manufactures and services aluminum livestock and horse trailers, as well as truck beds, according to the company’s web site.
David Kell of Madison County Future, Inc. said expansion will add 12 new full-time and two part-time jobs to the company’s local workforce of 65.
Those hires will come over the next three years and increase the local payroll by $400,000. Current payroll is nearly $1.3 million annually, according to the enterprise zone agreement.
“More importantly, this project will help retain 30 manufacturing jobs that would be going to (M.H. Eby’s) facility in Story City, Iowa,” Kell said.
Dave Wentzel of M.H. Eby said the planned addition is the company’s third locally since 1990. Production of slatted trailers up to 42 feet in length will move from a Pennsylvania factory to Ohio, as a result.
Currently, the West Jefferson factory produces 15 to 20 trailers weekly. Three of the company’s six manufacturing sites nationwide produce livestock trailers. Wentzel noted the company is growing.
Dhume and Forrest applauded the planned expansion.
“You’ve been great for the county,” Forrest told Wentzel.
Dhume said a recent tour of the West Jefferson factory showed cramped working areas.
“You need to expand,” he said.
He also noted the company employs skilled workers.
“They are good jobs with good pay,” Dhume said.
He expressed gratitude for M.H. Eby’s recent contribution to improvements at the Madison County Fairgrounds. The company and Coughlin Automotive Group each gave $50,000 toward construction of a new arena.
“It was an outstanding gift,” Dhume said.
Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.