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Company purchases land in Putnam; 70 jobs expected

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- An Australian company purchased land in the Putnam Business Park after commissioners approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal last month.

The deal grants the company a 20-percent tax deduction on real property for 20 years.

Ludowici LLC has locations in Chapmanville and Wytheville, Va., among others, and specializes in mining, quarry, infrastructure, and industrial and water equipment, according to the company's website.

Putnam commissioners approved the tax break saying the company would bring in at least 70 jobs. Commissioner Steve Andes announced Tuesday that a company had purchased the land in Fraziers Bottom, but would not confirm the name of the business.

Documents in the County Clerk's office revealed Ludowici purchased about 11 acres from the county Development Authority on Aug. 2 in the business park along the Kanawha River. The amount paid for the land was not disclosed in the deed because it's being transferred from a public corporation and is therefore exempt from an excise tax.

In July, County Attorney Jennifer Scragg Karr told commissioners the estimated $8 million facility would require extensive excavation and reinforcement measures because of its riverfront location.

"[The tax break] will help recoup the costs [the company will pay] to put the facility there," she said previously.

FLSmidth, a Danish engineering firm, purchased Ludowici Ltd. on July 3, according to its website. The company is now formally called "FLSmidth Ludowici." The deal, according to media reports, was valued at $267 million.

A spokesman at the Chapmanville location said he couldn't comment on the Putnam location, but said FLSmidth, "our parent company, will make a public announcement shortly."

The Putnam Business Park, located along U.S. 35 in Fraziers Bottom, contains five businesses: Tasty Blend Foods, Nippon Thermostat, The Schwan Food Co., Bayliss & Ramey Inc., and Multi-Coat, which purchased the land in 2007, but still hasn't developed it.

In other business Tuesday, state Sen. Mike Hall, R-Putnam, presented commissioners with a $15,000 grant from the governor's community participation program for the county's new animal shelter.

Commissioners voted 2-1 to finance the shelter. Commissioner Andes, who voted no, has said the $2.3 million being spent on construction is too costly.

The new facility will be equipped to hold more than double the amount of animals as the current shelter, which is about 27 years old. The facility will also allow sick and healthy animals to be separated, a problem at the existing facility.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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