Former Hevi-Duty plant now owned by industrial development board


CELINA-The former SOLA Hevi-Duty plant here was donated to the City of Celina last week and then the title was transferred to the local industrial development board, officials announced Friday.

The facility, built in 1970, is situated on ten acres and contains 24,000 square feet, officials said.  The property was occupied in 1970 and subsequently purchased in 1991 by the SOLA Hevi Duty Transformer Company.  Production ceased and the plant was closed in March 2008.  

A proposal was made by Ray Norris, Executive Director of the Clay County Partnership Chamber of Commerce, to the SOLA Hevi-Duty Corporate office in mid-February of last year requesting the facility to be donated to Clay County.

Norris said the proposal was reviewed by the corporate office and passed on to the parent company, a joint venture between Emerson Electric and General Signal, for their review.  The proposal was approved by the board of directors at their April 2008 meeting.  

“In May 2008, during the initial research prior to transferring ownership, a discrepancy was found via the title search initiated by Emerson as a normal procedure in these matters,” Norris said. “The title discrepancy, which occurred in 1970, was corrected in October 2008. A November or December transfer was expected, but due to the real estate market collapse and overall property values decline in the summer of 2008, the first appraisal of the property done in July of 2008 was rendered useless and a second appraisal was done earlier this month.”

At the monthly industrial development board meeting last Thursday, the title was transferred from the City of Celina to the Celina/Clay County Joint Industrial Development Board, “which is the arm of both local governments and responsible for the Clay County Industrial Park and logically should manage this property as well,” Norris said. 

“While we certainly miss the SOLA Hevi-Duty Company we all owe them a sincere thank you for providing employment in Celina for so many years and secondly for their decision to donate this property in order that Celina and Clay County can attract a replacement company that will provide jobs,” Norris said.