Roth Industries embarking on nearly $6 million project

Work is expected to start around July 1 on a nearly $6 million expansion at Roth Industries Inc. in the City Center Industrial Park on North Bellew Avenue.

The company is completing the 27,500-square-foot addition to retain about 24 jobs, add a shift and create at least 12 more jobs over the next three years.

Roth Industries President and CEO Joseph A. Brown said the expansion will allow the company to add different types of products and keep up with demand.

“Certainly, we’re going to able to grow the business because of this,” he said.

The $5.925 million project is getting a $425,000 boost in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from the state, Empire State Development officials announced on Tuesday.

Last week, the Watertown Local Development Corp. approved its portion of a 15-year, $750,000 loan in gap funding for the expansion, said CEO Donald W. Rutherford. The Development Authority of the North Country and the North Country Alliance also will kick in $250,000 each for the loan, he said.

Construction should be completed in mid- to late-November and then take several months to install a mold-blower equipment that will allow Roth to expand its plastics manufacturing.

The addition, to be built on the plant’s west side, will consist of 6,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 26,000 square feet for dry storage and 43,500 square feet of exterior asphalt space for storage.

The company is projecting that its North American market will increase from $22.5 million to $30 million over five years, according to state economic development officials.

A billion-dollar company headquartered in Germany, the local plant manufactures double-walled plastic oil storage tanks, construction barriers and monitoring controls for radiant heaters.

Local plant officials had to go to Germany to lobby for the venture with its parent company. The Watertown plant also had to compete with locating the expansion at one of its customer’s plants

The addition, to be built on the plant’s west side, will consist of 6,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 26,000 square feet for dry storage and 43,500 square feet of exterior asphalt space for storage.

The project first surfaced about two years ago when company officials discussed the project with the local development corporation, which operates the city industrial park.

Roth, a family-owned business established in Germany more than 60 years ago, has locations in more than 40 countries and 1,100 employees. Roth entered the North American market in 1997 and then moved to Watertown from Rhode Island a decade ago, partly because of its proximity to Canada.

Developed about 12 years ago, the industrial park now has seven businesses. In addition to Roth Industries, the companies are Current Applications, United Auto Supply, Blue Mountain Spring Water, Alteri’s Bakery, Renzi Bros. and Frito-Lay.

By Craig Fox, Watertown Daily Times