Meadville Tribune

Local News

October 10, 2013

Loan to Titusville firm means more jobs

MEADVILLE — Another 10 to 12 jobs are expected to be added by a Titusville firm within the next year or two with a loan through the Crawford County Industrial Development Authority.

The authority Thursday approved up to a $1.2 million loan to Roser Technologies Inc. of Titusville, which provides maintenance services to steel manufacturers. Roser designs, makes and refurbishes caster molds, segment components and other parts used in manufacturing steel.

Jack Roser, one of Roser’s owners, said the firm would use the money to expand its current operations in Titusville Opportunity Park. The company plans to buy 10 acres of land and five buildings in Titusville that it current leases from Titusville Redevelopment Authority. Titusville Opportunity Park is a business park on the east side of Titusville.

“We expect to have 60 employees by year’s end,” Roser said, noting the jobs at the company are in the range of $15 to $25 per hour with benefits. “In the next 12 to 24 months, we’ll hire 10 or 12 more — depending on the economy.”

The company also expects to add an approximate 20,000-square-foot addition to its operation next year, Roser said.

Roser Technologies is one of only three steel producer maintenance firms in the U.S., Roser said.

The loan to Roser Technologies will be for 10 years from Customers Bank of Wyomissing at a fixed tax-free interest rate of 3.25 percent for the first five years, Lisa Pepicelli Youngs, the authority’s attorney said. At the end of the first five years, the loan rate will be reset and could be another fix rate for the balance of the term, or be variable, she said.

Roser will be responsible for repayment of the loan, she said.

Approval from the Crawford County Industrial Development Authority and county commissioners are needed for the tax exempt status of the loan, but neither the authority nor county will be held liable in the event of a default, she said.

Crawford County Industrial Development Authority is allowed to offer low-interest financing to businesses by being able to issue tax-free bonds for projects; combining financing of its projects with those of other county industrial development authorities within Pennsylvania in order to issue bonds; or issuing a private tax-exempt note or loan through the authority, she said.

County commissioners also will have to certify the project is in the public interest, but issuance of the note doesn’t create a pledge of the county’s credit or taxing power to finance it.

Current federal tax rules require the highest elected local officials to approve the project in order for it to qualify as tax-exempt.

County commissioners are expected to take action on the matter at their Oct. 17 meeting.

If approved by the commissioners, it then would have to be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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