INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Sebastian-based Powder Coat Specialists will stay in Indian River County without the benefit of a $75,000 loan, company officials decided Thursday afternoon.
The decision came during a meeting between the company and county staff members, including County Administrator Joe Baird, and the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. “They said they were going to stay,” Baird said late in the afternoon. He could not say if the company had signed the lease on a property it was looking to relocate to and expand operation.
“They realized the scrutiny” the county was under and decided to withdraw the request for the $75,000 loan, Baird added.
Questions about the company and its financial stability were raised late in the day Wednesday when an anonymous person delivered a packet of court records to County Commissioners showing the sister-company, Extreme Impact Shutter Supply, had been dissolved and foreclosed on.
Baird said earlier in the day that information would have come to light without the anonymous packet as the staff had to review the company’s financial information before cutting the check for the loan.
“The company is a real company with real offices,” said Helene Caseltine, of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re very fortunate” the company has decided to stay in Indian River County, she added.
Caseltine said that the company has decided to hold off on moving forward with its jobs grant application in order to tweak some of the information. She said Powder Coat Specialists plans to reapply for the jobs grant after it relocates from Sebastian to a site west of Vero Beach, at 17th Place and 90th Avenue.
“They don’t want to make the county or commissioners uncomfortable,” Caseltine said, explaining why the company withdrew its loan request.
Commissioner Joe Flescher had been one of the company’s strongest supporters, urging the firm to stay in Indian River County. He said that when he first saw the documents that called the company into question, he was taken aback.
However, he now is confident that the company will indeed stay in Indian River County and has the financial wherewithal to make the move and expansion.
Flescher said late Thursday afternoon that the company will be self-funding the move, which it couldn’t do if it didn’t have the finances to do so.
“We’re going forward with the process of them staying here,” Flescher said.
As for the anonymous documents, Flescher said that given some of the language and terminology used, it appears “someone has taken it very personal.”
The documents identify key people with the company as “wife” and “daughter” – tying them to one of the principals of the dissolved company, William Wayne Schroeder.
There is a “personal touch,” Flescher said.
Now that the company is no longer seeking county money to finance the location, the county has no need to continue investigating the company’s financials, according to both Baird and Flescher.
However, Flescher said that he would think the financial information would be pertinent if the company were to again apply for the jobs grant.
Powder Coat Specialists had applied for the county’s jobs grant – a total of $152,000 to be paid over three years based on hiring 40 employees whose salaries were at least 75 percent of the county’s average annual wage of $34,730.
Originally publised at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, March 24.