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There's a large plot of land on Highway 25A in Wapakoneta that is soon to be home to Pratt Industries.
The Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council announced at their annual meeting that Pratt Industries will begin a two phase construction project costing $310 million. The first phase will be the construction of a recycled paper mill and the second phase will the construction of a corrugated box factory. Completion dates are set for 2019 and 2022 respectively
Pratt Industries is the fifth largest corrugated box producer in the country. So many are asking, why Wapakoneta?
Wapakoneta is situated right there where they want to be and where they need to be to have the most economic benefits for them as far as shipping products," said the Mayor of Wapakoneta, Tom Stinebaugh.
This will be the fifth recycled paper mill for Pratt Industries. General Manager, Ed Kersey says he’s seen the economic impact the previous four factories have made in their respective cities. The mill in Wapakoneta is expected to create 300 jobs. Kersey said the mill will impact more than just those 300 lives.
"With all those people coming in we’ll need things like housing," Kersey said. "We need things like apartments and things like that. It also brings in other jobs. For instance machinery jobs. We have to hire truck drivers. Those aren’t accounted for in those numbers. There's a lot of other impact in the community. As well as taxes too, because all those people will be paying taxes."
Stinebaugh says the railway through Highway 25A made Wapakoneta stand out as a top choice and says it’ll help Pratt Industries save money.
"They’re going to be located right next to the rail spur which used to be known as the railroad to nowhere but now it’s going to be the railway to Pratt Industries.," Stinebaugh said.
The projects phase one is set to break ground in March 2018.
By: Erin Hami