Starke County, Indiana and Ringoes, New Jersey – Reagent Chemical and Research, Inc., (Reagent) North America’s largest private owner of rubber lined rail cars, and the Starke County Development Foundation today announced that Reagent had selected a site in the Knox Industrial Park, Starke County, Indiana, as the location for its newest rail car facility.The facility will become operational in the summer of 2010, will create approximately $5,000,000 in new investment, and will create up to 31 new jobs over time.
Starke County was in competition with sites in Texas, Louisiana, and West Virginia for the facility.Brian Skeuse, Vice President of Reagent, said that “our original decision to locate the White Flyer Division in Knox in 2005 was due in large part to the fact that Starke County and the City of Knox had constructed a Lead Rail Track through the Knox Industrial Park in 2004.This new rail car facility would not be possible without the lead track.”
The Starke County Development Foundation, the County of Starke, and the City of Knox were instrumental in working together to attract Reagent.The Indiana Economic Development Corporation also provided assistance by way of a grant from the Indiana Development Grant Fund.“It takes everyone working together to bring business to our community.We are here to do what we can to better our people,” Knox Mayor Rick Chambers said.
Reagent will construct two new buildings totaling 36,500 square feet and build 6,155 lineal feet of new rail on the Reagent site. The City of Knox will use money from its Economic Development Fund to add 991 lineal feet of new public rail onto the Knox Lead Track.Tim Gunter, Plant Manager, White Flyer, said, “the Starke County Development Foundation was instrumental not only in our company’s original decision to locate in Starke County, but they have continued to be an important partner with Reagent since our arrival.The Development Foundation truly works with industry in not only enticing industry to come to Starke County, but once here, to do whatever it takes to assist the industry to grow and prosper; thereby, providing jobs and improving the county economy.”
Reagent will equip new rail tank cars for its use and maintain and repair its existing fleet of rail cars at the site.After being outfitted at the Starke County site, the rail cars will then be used to transport hydrochloric acid between Reagent’s distribution facilities located outside Indiana and its customers. Reagent is the nation’s largest marketer of hydrochloric acid, which is used in the food processing, energy, steel, and other industrial sectors.
“Reagent’s decision to locate its new rail car facility in Starke County not only demonstrates Starke County’s strategic location but Reagent’s confidence in Starke County and its work force,” said Starke County Development Foundation Director, Charles Weaver.
Reagent’s White Flyer Division is the world’s largest producer and marketer of clay targets; it’s Cali’co Hardwoods Division is the world’s largest producer of fancy wood blanks for shot gun and rifle stocks, and also supplies Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Jaguar automobiles and the aero industry with hardwoods and veneers; and, its PROSYS Division is the nation’s largest manufacturer of cartridge packaging equipment, which is used by cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and adhesive producers.
The Starke County Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development.For more information regarding Starke County Development Foundation, visit www.starkecounty.com.
As a result of legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in Feb. 2005, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) replaced the Department of Commerce as the premier entity charged with state economic development. The IEDC has a 12-member board chaired by Gov. Mitch Daniels. For more information about IEDC, please visit www.iedc.IN.gov.