News Local

South-Barrie deal will help Busch Systems

Bob Bruton

By Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner

The city is selling south-end industrial land to help a long-established Barrie manufacturer nearly double its workforce and increase the size of its operating facility.MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

The city is selling south-end industrial land to help a long-established Barrie manufacturer nearly double its workforce and increase the size of its operating facility.MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

The city is selling south-end industrial land to help a long-established Barrie manufacturer nearly double its workforce and increase the size of its operating facility.

Councillors gave initial approval Monday to sell 52-68 Rawson Ave. to Morriello Construction for $653,400, or $121,000 per acre for the 5.4-acre parcel.

Morriello has a tenancy deal with Busch Systems, a 30-year city business which designs and manufactures waste recyclers.

Busch is already using 51,000 square feet of space on Rawson, but wants to build 30,000 sq. ft. More - eventually expanding to 80,000 sq. ft. as its moulding, warehouse and shipping areas increase.

Current staffing at Busch is 100, but the expansion is expected to add another 80-100 employees.

Busch plans to grow its business by 300% during the next five years.

This land is located on the west side of Rawson, adjacent to the Champlain Ready Mix facility. The rear of 52-68 Rawson is adjacent to the city's rail line.

Busch has interest in using the city's rail system for its raw materials – plastic, usually as pellets.

The city has two offers for this property.

The second comes from RAM Iron & Metal, a Toronto-based scrap metal recycler. RAM already has locations in Toronto, Welland and Concord, and wants to add a fourth in Barrie – for the purchase and sale of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal (ferrous metals and alloys contain iron, non-ferrous materials don't).

It requires both indoor and outdoor storage, and would build a 10,000-20,000 sq. ft. building, with initial employment of five to seven staff.

RAM has noted the nearby rail line, and could use anywhere from five to 20 rail cars a month there.

It is offering $675,000 for the property, or $21,600 more than Morriello. And city rail revenue from RAM could be $48,000 to $192,000 annually.

But development charges for RAM would be about $115,000, while totalling nearly $345,000 for Morriello.

Annual taxes would be a maximum of $97,000 for Morriello, $24,000 for RAM.

City staff have estimated the financial impact of a sale to Morriello at $1-$2.3 million, while it could be $802,000 to $1.1 million for RAM.

Morriello would begin construction within a year, RAM within two years.

Staff are recommending the Morriello sale because of its revenue for the city, economic spinoff of increased employment, Busch's long-term status in the community and potential for future growth, and that Busch is an active member of Barrie's business and cultural community.

Busch also employs people of varying skills – educated technical, manufacturing and support staff.

It has invested heavily at its current location and is expected to do the same at an expanded facility.

There was no discussion of the sale by councillors Monday. Final approval will be considered by city council at its Dec. 5 meeting.

bbruton@postmedia.com

 



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