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Canadian-linked firm to expand in Ogdensburg

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OGDENSBURG — A company with Canadian roots has struck a deal with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority that will keep their manufacturing facility in St. Lawrence County and aid with the creation of a handful of new jobs.

Tulmar Manufacturing Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Tulmar Group in Canada, has signed a new, three-year lease with the OBPA that will give the company a 43 percent reduction in the rates it was previously paying for floor space at the Commerce Park light industrial park. The company had been considering relocating to Jefferson County, but the new rates negotiated with the OBPA were too good to pass up, General Manager and President Manna M. Doyle said Friday.

“It was a push from the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority and the St. Lawrence County IDA,” Mr. Doyle said. “They basically asked us ‘what else can we do to keep you here?’”

Mr. Doyle said Tulmar plans to add five new positions, bringing the facility’s labor force to nine. He said the employees will help fulfill a company contract to manufacture interior panels for buses.

OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis said Tulmar will be renting 7,746 square feet of space at Building 14 at the Commerce Park at rates that equate to an average of approximately $43,000 annually. Before the new lease agreement the company was paying roughly $61,000 a year for the same square footage.

“This was a client that was potentially looking to relocate to Jefferson County,” Mr. Davis said. “This was a deal we put together to retain the customer.”

Mr. Davis said convincing Tulmar to continue doing business in St. Lawrence County is a good example of the OBPA taking an aggressive approach to spurring job retention and growth.

“We’re really taking a proactive stance to manage existing jobs and create new jobs,” Mr. Davis said.

Patrick J. Kelly, executive director of St. Lawrence County’s Industrial Development Agency, echoed Mr. Davis’s view. He said the OBPA, county officials and city officials all worked in unison to make sure Tulmar stayed in the community.

“We don’t ever want to see one company or one job leave the county,” Mr. Kelly said. “Tulmar has a tremendous amount of potential and is a great fit for Ogdensburg. I think they’re a company that can be a long-term and substantial success story for St. Lawrence County.”

According to the company’s website, the origins of Tulmar can be traced back to 1951 when RFD Canada was established in Granby, Quebec, to perform repair and overhaul services on marine life rafts. The company was renamed Tul Safety Equipment Ltd. and moved to Hawkesbury, Ontario, in 1968.

In 2003, affiliate company Tulmar Manufacturing was incorporated in Wixom, Mich., to provide a U.S. manufacturing base for vehicle seating, stowage equipment and military tentage. Now located in Ogdensburg, Tulmar Manufacturing provides light manufacturing, assembly and value-added logistics services for U.S. defense and transportation contractors.

Mr. Doyle said the new three-year contract with the OBPA means the company has no immediate plans to relocate elsewhere and said Ogdensburg is a good location for the company to deal with its U.S. client base.

“We’re happy to be staying up here,” he said.

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