A New Jersey company is moving to Dexter and plans to bring several new jobs over the next three years, but it needs a road.
The company, named Wingits, makes fasteners and fixtures for the hospitality industry, has a signed a deal to move into the Adair Printing plant in the 7800 block of Edison Street. The company plans to move its entire operation from New Jersey to Michigan and add 48 new jobs over three years.
Those jobs range from $600 a week for unskilled labor to $1,500 a week for managerial positions, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol said.
The company’s business model differs from others in that instead of making their products on site, they work with existing manufacturers and provide them with the machinery needed to make the products, Aniol said. The company reassembles, packages and then redistributes the finished product, she said.
The proposed use of the building for distribution and warehouse is allowed in the I-1 district as a special use, Aniol said. This will require an appearance before the Planning Commission.
“Part of what they will have to do is show how they will bring the site into compliance,” Aniol said. “While the building meets most of the requirements, the fact the site doesn’t really have a parking lot or a paved parking area presents some concerns.”
Among those concerns is where the city is at on improving the road right of way; does the city have any plans on improving it and will the city share in the cost and if not, is company going to be responsible for all improvements?
Aniol asked for guidance and said she would be willing to sit down and talk with the Road Committee on a solution.
One member of council was not enamored with the idea. Ray Tell said he thought the industrial park was supposed to take industry out of downtown and away from residents.
“I understand this is a current site, but I am not sure I need to see that many more trucks and I am not sure Second Street has the strength for that kind of traffic.”
The city did set up Adair as an IFT district, but Tell wants more information on hours of operation and the anticipated number of trucks from deliveries and drop-offs.
“I am hesitant to contribute anything to the improvement of Edison Street,” Tell said.
Aniol pointed out that the Master Plan does not show this area changing from industrial. The council could change that this year as it will have budget money for the update to the plan, she said.
The company couldn’t locate in the industrial park because warehousing and distribution is not permitted as a principal use.
Council member Jim Carson, who served on the road committee with former council member Joe Semifero, said when they developed the plan to improve the streets, they purposely left Edison between First and Second off the list. The idea, since the road was a complete build, was to sit and wait.
“The goal was to establish a CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) for that, which we do not have,” Carson said. “There is not a plan for that from Second to First.
“Maybe at the minimum we need to do that.”
The city could have its engineer take a look at the area and the city has to look at creating pedestrian access to the park at the end of Edison, Carson said. There is a CIP for a sidewalk on Edison, but that is only to Third Street, he said.
“There may be some things that we do need to talk about,” Carson said. “It would be a new project. It would be a new addition to our CIP.
“That is a very large right of way (99 feet). That shouldn’t be our responsibility.”
Council directed City Manager Courtney Nicholls and engineer Patrick Droze to crunch some numbers and report back to council.
Aniol will make contact with the company.