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Contemporary Machines makes the machines that make train wheels, one of only two such companies in the world. COURTESY PHOTO
Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 8 years ago

Manufacturer chugs ahead

by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

Contemporary Machines plans to add 30 jobs in three years.

It’s just a sewer matter, but it could pay off in the end.

A manufacturing company on Roberts Road, next to Sea Ray and just outside the limits of the city of Palm Coast, is planning to more than double its workforce in three years.

The company will grow from 25 employees to 55 and invest $3 million in capital. The jobs will pay more than 150% of the city’s average wage, which equates to salaries of more than $46,000.

But the catch is that the company, Contemporary Machinery and Engineering Services Inc., owned by James A. Smith, Julia M. Smith, Allen W. Smith and Virginia P. Smith, has been on a septic tank for decades. Thanks to incentives from the city, when the company expands, it will stop using its septic tank and contract with the city’s sewer system, instead.

To help the company, the City Council plans to waive $17,400 in sewer impact fees associated with running the new lines, which will cost $74,000. City Manager Jim Landon said the city would have to extend that line anyway to accommodate future development there.

“This is a great example of how we’re trying not just to attract new businesses but also to support local businesses to expand and grow,” Landon said.

The company is an oddity. In the world, there are two companies that make the equipment that makes the wheels to railroad cars; Contemporary Machines is one of them.

Contemporary Machinery is not a new company, but it could someday be new to the city. As part of the agreement, the company will have to annex into the city when the area around it is developed and it becomes contiguous.

If and when that does happen, the city’s tax base will expand, Landon said. “That’s when the real payday happens.”

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