Heart disease not just for men

Friday, February 4, 2005

LINCOLN -- Gov. Dave Heineman today awarded nearly $1.2 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to assist with business expansions that will create a combined 46 full-time jobs in the cities of Imperial, Lexington and Atkinson.

Imperial will receive $293,000 in CDBG funding. Allo Communications in Imperial will borrow $288,000 from the city to support the company's expansion, which includes 11 new full-time sales and customer service positions in western Nebraska, and four new full-time network support jobs. Imperial will use the remaining $5,000 for loan-related administrative costs.

Allo Communications, owned by Bradley Moline and Russ Pankonin of Imperial, provides customer and billing services related to telecommunications usage throughout western Nebraska. The company's goal is to expand its customer base to include firms in surrounding states.

"The creation of so many new jobs in greater Nebraska is an important step toward ensuring the economic vitality of our state," Gov. Heineman said. "I am very pleased that we, at the state level, are partnering with communities to begin following through on the commitment I made to focus on strengthening Nebraska's economy."

Atkinson will receive $405,000 in CDBG funding. The city will loan $400,000 to Osborne Steel & Supply Company, Inc., to purchase machinery and equipment that will enable it to become a full-service material handling equipment manufacturer. The expansion also will include construction of a new facility and the addition of 21 full-time jobs to accommodate the increased manufacturing lines. Atkinson will use the remaining $5,000 for administrative costs.

Established in 1991, Osborne Steel & Supply Co., Inc. provides custom machining and manufacturing of parts for grain handling and animal feed industries. Customers range from grain elevators and feed mills, to ethanol and fertilizer plants. An additional $1.3 million in local and private funding will help to complete the project.

Lexington is being awarded $500,000 in CDBG funding. The city will loan $495,000 to Orthman Manufacturing Inc., which produces agricultural, industrial and construction equipment, and conveying systems. The company recently purchased Quinstar Equipment Co., based in Quinter, Kan., and is relocating all assets to its Lexington facility. The loan will go toward acquiring Quinstar's equipment and working capital. The remaining $5,000 will be available to Lexington for loan-related administrative costs.

OMI also plans to add 24,000 sq. feet to its existing facility and create 14 full-time positions to support expansion of the company's manufacturing lines to include products previously manufactured at Quinstar.

An additional $1.1million investment by OMI owners John and Nancy McCoy will go toward the purchase of land, machinery and equipment, as well as construction costs and working capital, bringing the total investment to more than $1.6 million.

OMI's products are sold direct to market and through Original Equipment Manufacturer relationships with full-line equipment manufacturers, including John Deere and Case New Holland.

The company's key products include agricultural toolbars, row markers and guidance systems; agricultural pre-plant tillage systems and reduced, one-pass tillage implements; industrial dirt scrapers and movers; and industrial and agricultural conveying systems.

These projects are part of a program directed by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, which assists with the development of businesses and communities throughout the state. Federal funds are made available to Nebraska from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's CDBG program.

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