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June 23, 2014

Abatement approved for $6M Orion facility

Project along county line to add 72 jobs

Cass County officials on Friday approved a 10-year tax abatement paving the way for a massive expansion at a niche safety products maker on the Cass-Miami county line.

Orion Safety Products is preparing to build a new 57,000-square-foot warehouse to replace its existing 9,000-square-foot building on its property at 3157 N. 500 West, Peru. Although the business has a Peru address, it’s located along the county line, putting a couple hundred acres of its property in Cass County.

The County Council approved the abatement as part of a joint project between the economic development offices of Cass and Miami counties.

Cass’s abatement was for $2.5 million in real property and $500,000 in personal property, according to Cass County Economic Development Director Christy Householder.

However, the company “is basically doing $6 million with $3 million in Cass and $3 million in Miami,” she explained. “It’s kind of a unique project because some of their buildings are in Cass and some are in Miami.”

Miami County officials are currently moving forward to turn the area around the plant into an Economic Revitalization Area, which will allow the company to receive tax abatements and other incentives from that county.

The $6 million building project and $1 million of new equipment is meant to streamline the work going on at Orion Safety Products.

“Currently our finished goods warehouse is about half a mile down the road,” explained plant manager Rod Utter. “We’re building a new warehouse and along with that we’re growing some new product lines.”

Orion Safety Products, the brand name of Standard Fusee Corp. headquartered in Maryland, mainly makes safety utilities like flares for marine use, but over the last two years launched several highway safety kits for drivers that include things like jumper cables. Utter expects to release a “bear scare” safety kit soon for hikers and campers taking routes through bear territory.

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