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Air filter firm to locate in Kershaw

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By Jenny Hartley

KERSHAW – A firm that makes specialized air filters is moving to Kershaw.

Lancaster County Council approved paying $100,000 for building upgrades for ECN Inc., said Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell.

That's until the state Department of Commerce comes through with a grant to reimburse the county, Tunnell said.

The money will never be paid to the owner of the company, but to MCON Construction as it completes the work at the building on Little Dude Avenue. The Department of Commerce will award the grant in March.

"The county is not writing this guy a check," Tunnell said.

If the project doesn't come through, the money will have to be paid back by the company owner.

ECN Inc. is bringing 20 to 25 new jobs to Kershaw, with a salary of about $12 an hour. The company makes filament for air filters.

The company already has orders to fill in March, and the owner wanted to get started upfitting the building now.

A committee that gives official approval of the state grant funds won't meet until March, but Tunnell said he already has word from the state Commerce Department that the grant will be awarded for the project.

There are four industrial buildings on Little Dude Avenue.

One houses Special Materials, which has 13 employees now and will have 24 in the next 14 months. A cabinet manufacturer is in a 16,000-square-foot building on the road, and ECN Inc. will occupy a third. A fourth building is in poor condition, but its owner said if it's sold, he would make improvements to the building, Tunnell said.

County Council voted on the funding issue for ECN Inc. at a special meeting held at noon Tuesday.

Metso land sale approved

Council approved third reading to sell 21.5 acres at the Lancaster Business Park to Metso Power, a company that makes industrial boilers.

The land was sold for $100. In return, the county gets a 101,000-square-foot building, 50 jobs with an average salary of $18 to $30 per hour and a $13.2 million investment.

A contract with the company is being finalized. Council also approved a licensing agreement that allows the company to start building the facility prior to the closing on the land sale, Tunnell said.

The company is setting up job training with York Technical College.

"They'll need lots of welders," Tunnell said.

The new building is slated to be complete in July 2008.

Metso Power is a worldwide company. Its United States headquarters are in Ballantyne.

Contact Jenny Hartley at 283-1151 or jhartley@thelancasternews.com