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July 30, 2021

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Mennel Milling, on NS Railroad line passing through Bluffton, gets state grant

The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) last week approved a grant award in the amount of $75,000 to Mennel Milling to expand on-site rail infrastructure needed to accommodate the additional expansion of two of its facilities in Fostoria. 

The railroad through Bluffton has two daily freight trains that travel from Lima to Fostoria. It is not known whether this expansion could increase rail traffic through Bluffton.

The approximately $9.5 million expansion of the Fostoria facilities will service a new customer with a national footprint. Mennel will commit to retaining 210 existing jobs and hiring an additional 12 new jobs at the Fostoria facility as a part of this project.

Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said, “This spring many of us gained a new appreciation of baking flour as we did a lot more cooking and baking at home. This expansion project in Ohio not only provides jobs and investment but also increases the capacity to provide bagged flour to consumers.

“It is just one more reminder of the time, investment and resources needed for our supply chains to support our economy. 

Ohio was in competition with plants in Mennel’s system in other states for this business. It is always our goal to assist existing Ohio businesses who are making investments in our state. We are proud to be able to partner with JobsOhio and the Regional Growth Partnership in this effort,” he said.

Rob Hammer, Director of Logistics, Mennel Milling, said, “Our project includes a rail spur coming off the Norfolk Southern track to service one of our facilities and will allow us to rail flour directly to the facility for a large flour packaging operation across the street from the mill. 

“This project will allow us to service product in 2, 5, 10 and 25 lb. retail packages of flour. We are making a $300,000 investment in the rail alone with a total company investment of approximately $9.5 million.”