Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Manufacturer may move to N.Ky.

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A ventilation manufacturer is the latest Cincinnati business that might relocate to Northern Kentucky.

Kirk & Blum Manufacturing must move from its Oakley plant because of a shopping center planned for its current location at the old Cincinnati Machine site.

The company, which makes industrial ventilating systems, employs about 200 at its 250,000 square-foot Oakley facility.

To entice the company to move to Boone County, Fiscal Court plans to issue $5.8 million in industrial revenue bonds. Fiscal Court members will vote on the bonds at tonight's meeting.

Kirk & Blum is considering moving to the Gateway International Business Park off Ky. 237 near Hebron, according to the county.

"We haven't made a final decision," said company president Rick Blum. He declined to identify other sites the company is considering.

Boone County would merely act as a conduit for the issuance of the bonds and will not incur any liability, said county administrator Jim Parsons. The bonds allow the company to get a more favorable interest rate on the project.

"They are looking at locating in the county, so we are saying, if they do, we will issue the bonds for the company," Parsons said.

Kirk & Blum specializes in industrial ventilation contracting, consulting and source emission testing, and builds component parts for industrial air systems. They have plants in Louisville, Lexington, Indianapolis, Defiance, Ohio, Greensboro, N.C. and Columbia, Tenn.

Earlier this year, Cincinnati Machine announced it would move from its historic Oakley site to Hebron.

Cincinnati Machine, a subsidiary of Unova Inc. expects to complete the move to 2200 Litton Road, off Interstate 275, by the end of this year.

A development company plans a $225 million makeover of the factory site. The development will include shops, office buildings and a movie theater.



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