Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 15, 2013

Toilet factory opening in Kokomo

Facility will create 140 new jobs over the next two years.

The former Kokomo Sanitary Pottery facility, which was closed in 2007, is receiving new life through the formation of Patriot Porcelain.The new company will be creating 140 jobs over the next two years and will manufacture high-quality sanitary products, including toilets and sinks.City and county officials will make an announcement of the new company locating in Kokomo today.Jeff Van Weelden and Dow Dellinger have been working for the past four years to open the facility and will be making a $16 million investment in the facility located on South Union Street.Van Weelden said the company has secured contracts with Gerber Plumbing Fixtures and Niagara Conservation to provide products. The Kokomo-produced toilets and sinks will be for sale in several major retail outlets.Patriot purchased the building last August and will be using much of the equipment in the facility with $11 million in new investments.Production is expected to start next June.Annual payroll is estimated at $4 million with an impact on the local economy of $300 million over the next decade, Van Weelden said.The city of Kokomo is providing $200,000 in incentives, or $2,000 for the hiring of each Howard County resident. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is providing payroll tax credits.The company will apply for five-year tax abatement on the new equipment that will be installed.Funding for the new company is being provided by First Farmers Bank and Truck and the city of Kokomo’s Revolving Loan Fund program.Van Weelden said many of the engineers and managers for Patriot Porcelain will be living in the Kokomo area.“We felt strongly about bringing jobs back to Kokomo,” he said. “It took us a year to get everything in place to determine we could be competitive.”Van Weelden said the Kokomo location was important in the investors' decision to reopen the plant.Expansion of the facility in the future is possible, he said.“We have three long-term contracts that will take the full capacity of the plant,” Van Weelden said. “Our contracts are for toilets.”Patriot Porcelain purchased the building from Gerber Global Union, which had maintained the building. Getting ready has required a substantial amount of clean-up, Van Weelden said.Van Weelden added many of the raw materials will come from Tennessee.Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said the city was aware that Patriot Porcelain had been working the past few years to reopen the manufacturing facility.“This is a big project,” he said. “There is a significant investment in non-automotive manufacturing jobs and is a reuse of an existing facility.”Goodnight said the plant is set up for this type of operation and was a unique opportunity for the community.The products will carry a “Made in America” stamp, the company said in a press release.“The centralized, modern production facility and up-to-date technology will allow it to provide customers with American-made products, product flexibility and quick response time to market demands, at a lower price than similar products now produced in China,” the company said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced it plans to build a new $1.23 million housing development in downtown Kokomo to accommodate people with disabilities. The new 6,500-square-foot housing unit called Elmwood Trails will be located at 1101 N. Buckeye St

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam Who should fix the dams? PERU — Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land?It’s a question with a lot riding on it — more than $1.5 million, in

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash A 26-year-old Burlington woman is being accused of driving drunk causing the death of a Frankfort man in a May 2 accident near the Howard-Tipton county line. Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson on Wednesday charging he

    July 24, 2014

  • Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012. Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras determined the law violates the state co

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo man charged with sexual misconduct with a minor Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old girl.Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on

    July 24, 2014

  • Howard County rejected for state preschool pilot Howard County is not among the five counties selected for Indiana’s new preschool voucher pilot.Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will roll out the program in 2015. Eighteen counties, includi

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff.The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000 f

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.