Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

April 17, 2012

Commerce center firms growing

Debbie Blank
The Herald-Tribune

BATESVILLE — Two Batesville Commerce Center businesses will expand soon, leaders told Batesville Industrial Park Commission and Batesville Economic Development Commission members April 12.

At Med-Mizer, which produces health care beds, mattresses and furniture, “in the last few years we’ve had a few new products take off, which has led to this expansion,” reported chief financial officer Dusty Tekulve. 

“We’ve been basically growing in the last four years at 10 percent per year. In the last two years, we’ve landed some corporate contracts with larger customers. We can’t wait any longer to expand.”

Now there’s not enough space to store beds before they are shipped. “It’s a good problem to have,” the officer said.

Twenty-three work in its factory now. After a 7,500-square-foot addition is constructed on the back of the building, the company will have a projected 40 employees, including 30 in the factory.

Mayor Rick Fledderman said company leaders will invest $400,000 in the project, $300,000 for the structure and $100,000 for machinery and equipment. Tekulve requested 10-year real property and five-year personal property tax abatements.

Because a drainage ditch is where the addition will go, it will be rerouted and a swale will be extended, said Tom Davis, Runnebohm Construction, Shelbyville, project manager. The added structure will cause extra rain runoff, so the edges of a detention pond will be increased by about a foot. Davis has applied for the necessary drainage state permits. 

Gene Lambert, who serves on both commissions, asked, “Who do you sell to?” Long-term care facilities was Tekulve’s answer.

Med-Mizer’s building and drainage plans were approved by BIPC.

The two panels recommended the city council OK the tax abatement requests.

BIPC and BEDC member Andy Saner wondered, “How soon do you want to get started” with the construction? Tekulve joked, “Tomorrow?”

Davis said the addition will be  completed in late summer or early fall, around the time five to seven workers are hired.

Todd Rynn, president of Rynn Transportation and Warehouse, a truck brokerage, said his business must grow because the existing facility is full. He is working on developing a recycling partnership with the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste District.

Davis said the new 38,000-square-foot building will be a warehouse. “There is an opportunity for a possible small office expansion … or additional parking. The buildings will match.” He added, “We made preparations for a couple more dock areas.”

A stormwater ditch that runs between the business and General Electric Lighting will be rerouted. Two detention ponds are designed to handle a 100-year storm.

Lambert asked about technical concerns. Building Commissioner Tim Macyauski said consulting engineer Dick Weigel of Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering, Indianapolis,  reviewed the sewer system there.

Councilman Kevin Chaffee, who is a civil engineer, advised replacing  the 1.5-inch-wide sewer main with a 2-inch one. “If you make it longer and put more bends in it … you’re going to have to increase the pipe size.”

Davis agreed, “We could upsize that to 2 inches at least.” He will get a Runnebohm Construction mechanical engineer to study the plans.

Rynn will have to seek variances from the Batesville Advisory Plan Commission and Batesville Board of Zoning Appeals on a gravel parking area and constructing a detention pond within 50 feet of a building.

BIPC voted to give a favorable recommendation to BAPC and BBZA.

The mayor noted, “It’s great to see some expansion in the community.”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 113; or debbie.blank@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.