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Aluminastic close to calling Ironton home

Two signatures are all that stand between the South Ironton Industrial Park and its newest tenant.

After originally announcing the deal earlier this year, Aluminastic LLC, a research and development company that has created a new aluminum alloy, is only a few weeks away from making the deal official. The company is expected to sign a lease agreement with the Ironton Port Authority at the April 4 meeting.

"We are ecstatic, just thrilled to death. We are so looking forward to coming down here and start working," said Dr. Roger Scherer, company CEO and former Shawnee State University professor.

"We know it will be so beneficial to Ironton and southern Ohio. It is going to be lots of fun."

The company will lease a 2-acre plot of land and the unused aluminum building sitting inside the 40-plus acre site on Third Street.

Aluminastic is also responsible for setting up the infrastructure and finishing the building.

"We have actually already started some work on the building. We stopped because the architects needed state approve for a change," Scherer said. "We got that last week and will soon be ready to start again."

Though "everything is taking a whole lot longer than we had thought," Scherer believes the company could be up and rolling with its first jobs by June or July of this year.

Aluminastic has committed to creating 30 jobs by the end of 2006. The company will then expand into a more manufacturing aspect and create 30 to 50 more jobs within three years. Many of these positions would pay between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, Scherer said.

As long as all these hurdles are cleared, the company will not be required to pay rent for the building and will be given the property.

The company has also committed to keeping its headquarters in Ironton and to consider the city first if the company decides to expand.

As far as Port Authority members are concerned, job creation is worth far more than a empty building and a few acres.

"I am very excited and enthusiastic about Aluminastic coming to Ironton," said port authority vice chairman Rob Slagel. "The company could create so many good jobs for Ironton and Lawrence County. It could also eventually create several spin-off industries that could locate in or near the park and create even more jobs."

Aluminastic has been in the works since 1998 but had been unable to find a suitable location.

Scherer has called the industrial park and perfect spot.

Currently, the Ohio Department of Transportation's Lawrence County garage is the only tenant although at least two other state agencies are looking at the site.