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Rampf Molds expanding, adding jobs

April 18, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

A Washington County company that makes molds for concrete products is adding manufacturing space and employees.

Rampf Molds Industries Inc., which has close to 30,000 square feet on Western Maryland Parkway near Hagerstown, will build about 18,750 square feet more, Vice President Josef Ott said Tuesday.

The company expects to add about 30 employees - with a wide range in duties and pay - to its current work force of about 65, he said.

Rampf Molds will install a large new furnace to harden metal molds to a greater degree, increasing their longevity.

Ott said the company plans to spend about $4 million on construction and equipment.

The company makes molds that other businesses use to make concrete products, such as paving stones and retaining walls, he said.

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Washington County is helping Rampf Molds by issuing up to $5 million in tax-exempt bonds.

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the bonds, for which the company will be responsible.

"Washington County will be only a conduit to issue the Economic Development Revenue Bonds, which will be sold, and the proceeds provided in a loan to Rampf Molds," a county memo says. "There will be no exposure for the County in that the County will not be liable for the payments."

By going through the county, Rampf Molds could get an interest rate of about one-half of a basis point better, Cassandra H. Latimer, the deputy director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said in a voice-mail message.

A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Ott said the company expects to start construction on the expansion soon and begin the new steel treatment process in early 2008.

He said Rampf Molds, which has its roots in Germany, moved from Princeton, N.J., to Washington County in 1990.

"The appeal was the blue-collar work force," he said. Other attractions were the local highway system and proximity to major airports.

Staff writer Kate S. Alexander contributed to this story.

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