17/06/05 New pallet plant proposed near Belding (By RYAN
A local pallet manufacturing company plans to move a quarter mile north and construct a larger facility capable of meeting the demands of the growing business.
K&P Young Trucking and Pallet Building plans to construct a 9,000 square-foot plant on seven acres just north of its exising facility at 7175 Whites Bridge Road. The company employs eight to 14 people manufacturing and recycling pallets for a variety of local businesses.
Owner Ken Young said without an expansion, the business may not survive much longer.
"This is a cut-throat business," he said. "We need something bigger. It takes a lot of room to handle the lumber we do."
Recent increases in prices for nails and lumber have driven up the cost of doing business, Young said. He needs to generate more sales and increase efficiency to make ends meet.
"We've been having a struggle. It's been challenging," Young said.
The existing facility, located on 1.5 acres, cannot accommodate more growth. The seven-acre site will provide plenty of space for future expansion, hopefully increasing annual sales of $750,000 by 15 to 20 percent, Young said.
He may consider adding new product lines later, such as mulch and firewood, using pallet-making byproducts. He may also create six new jobs.
"Businesses can't stand still. This gives us room to do what we need to do in the future to stay afloat," he said.
Young is seeking to rezone 7 acres of a 30-acre parcel he owns north of M-44 from residential and agriculture to industrial. The other 23 acres will remain classified as residential, possibly becoming a residential subdivision in the future.
Otisco Township Supervisor Paul Reeves said the rezoning fits the area, since adjacent land to the south and east is already zoned industrial. However, a similar rezoning request by a previous owner was turned down since those owners had no immediate development plans.
A public hearing on the rezoning request is scheduled for 7 p.m. this evening at the Otisco Township Hall, 9663 Button Road.