Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 12, 2010

New metal recycling facility OK

Elkhart County Plan Commission members Thursday gave their stamp of approval to the construction of a new metal recycling facility in Concord Township.

Now, it’s up to the Elkhart County Commissioners to decided whether or not the deal is a go.

Submitted by Fort Wayne-based OmniSource Corp., the approved petition involved the granting of a conditional industrial unit development for the facility in a manufacturing-2 zone located at 58282 Ind. 19, just north of C.R. 24 in Elkhart.

According to Thomas Niezer, representing attorney for OmniSource, the company purchased the 14.07 acre site in 2008 after the previous owner, Sturgis Iron and Metal Co. Inc., declared bankruptcy. The site has sat virtually vacant for the past 10 years.

“OmniSource has looked at the site,” Niezer said. “It works very well for the type of facility being proposed.”

At present, Niezer indicated that OmniSource plans on constructing a 5,000-square-foot collection facility on a 3.6 acre section of the 14-acre site capable of accepting everything from aluminum cans and copper wire to industrial scrap and automobiles. The remaining acreage will be used for container storage.

“Absolutely no processing of metals will be performed on this site,” Niezer noted, adding that the site will only be used for the collection of scrap metal which will then be shipped to other company locations for processing.

Uses such as shredding, shearing, or baling of scrap metals will not occur on the site, though Niezer indicated automobiles will occasionally be flattened on the premises using a mobile mechanical flattener.

As for job potential, Niezer said the company plans to employ three to five individuals at the site with a total estimated payroll of between $100,000 and $170,000.

Total estimated capital investment for buildings and equipment associated with the project has been set between $350,000 and $900,000.

Despite these potential positives, several neighbors to the proposed recycling site were in attendance during Thursday’s meeting to ask questions and voice their concerns.

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