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Aluminastic becomes new tenant in industrial park

Stevie Wonder once sang that he was, "Signed, sealed, delivered." For the Ironton Port Authority and start-up company Aluminastic LLC, two are down and the big one is still in the works.

Smiles and handshakes were the name of the game Monday as the deal to bring the company to town as the South Ironton Industrial Park's second tenant was signed and sealed. Now the research and development company that has created a new aluminum alloy will get to work on the "delivered" part.

What does the company plan to deliver? Jobs - and possibly a whole lot more.

"Things are moving along, slowly, but they are moving along," said Dr. Roger Scherer, company CEO and former Shawnee State University professor. "We are making progress."

The company is working with a manufacturer in Columbus to create their product that they are calling Aluminum Alloy EZFLO 60/61. What does that mean in English? The company has developed a high-grade aluminum hybrid that can be manipulated almost like a liquid but maintains the characteristics of aluminum.

"It is more than we ever anticipated," Scherer said of the product that has been in the works for seven years.

The company and the port authority each signed a lease agreement Monday on the 2-acre plot of land and the unused shell building in the 40-plus acre industrial park on Third Street in South Ironton. A variety of high-tech tests will be conducted on the product at the new site.

Aluminastic is also responsible for setting up the infrastructure and finishing the building. If the company can meet all the job creation benchmarks, the company will not be required to pay rent for the building and will be deeded the property in 2011.

Already moving some items in, Scherer believes the company could be up and rolling with its first jobs this summer.

Aluminastic has committed to creating eight jobs by June 30, seven additional jobs by February of 2006 and another 15 jobs by the end of 2006. The company hopes to then expand into manufacturing its product and create 50 additional jobs by 2011. Many of these positions would pay between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.

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

"We as the Ironton Port Authority wish you every success in the world," said Chairman Bill Dickens said. "We are counting on you."

Mayor John Elam echoed those sentiments.

"We appreciate you having the faith in us that we have in you," he said.

Lots of "thank yous" were passed around between the company and the port authority. Dickens also thanked local attorneys Mark McCown and Kevin Waldo who provided legal assistance for free.

Port authority members also talked about a variety of other deals that are in the works that could bring even more jobs to Ironton.