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Storage building maker moving to McCracken

BY DAVID ZOELLER dzoeller@paducahsun.com

A Metropolis, Ill., business is relocating to western McCracken County and bringing an estimated 90 jobs with it.

EZ Portable Buildings has begun moving its headquarters and manufacturing into the old Tyler Mountain Water building on Carneal Road, according to Trendon Burnett, president. The company is investing $1.25 million in the project.

"We look forward to working with the people of west Paducah in providing a high-quality and friendly work environment," said Burnett. "The building was very attractive to us based on what we do and all of the access there. We want to bring as many jobs as possible. I know with today's economy that's important."

According to Burnett, the move across the river into the 335,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to expand into new product lines. In addition to its line of custom wooden storage facilities, the company produces small houses and cabins. The company has retail locations in Carbondale, Marion, Metropolis and Olive Branch in Illinois, and in East Prairie, Mo. He said it plans to significantly increase outlets when expansion is completed.

"We hope to be in full production with 90 percent of the retail locations within 36 months," Burnett said. The company currently has around 10 employees, and will start taking applications for the new jobs within 30 days. Average pay for the manufacturing jobs is expected to be around $13.50 an hour, he said.

Burnett praised the efforts of state and local economic development officials in facilitating the move.

"Everybody has just been great. They represented Kentucky well," he said.

Chuck Sexton, director of economic development for Paducah Economic Development, said: "I'm excited to have them come to Paducah and locate in the old Tyler Mountain Water building, which has been empty for a while. They're entrepreneurs at heart and we're happy to help secure incentives to get them to locate here."

To encourage the move, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $375,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel said the city would have liked for EZ Portable Buildings to stay, but he understood the decision.

"He (Burnett) is a fine young man. We would have been honored to have him in our city as a manufacturer," McDaniel said, noting the company will maintain a sales location in Metropolis. "We tried to work something out, but the size of the building was just too much for us to overcome. You don't have the chance to get a 335,000-square-foot building every day. That made it more feasible ... I don't blame him a bit."

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.

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