The Archbold economy stabilized and improved slightly during 2012, Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, told members of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce.
In his year-in-review speech during the Thursday, Nov. 1 AACC banquet, Wyse said as he reflected on 2012, he was reminded of the phrase, “no news is good news.”
But there was news out of Archbold during 2012, and much of it was positive.
Wyse said so far in 2012, the village municipal income tax has brought in 6 1/2 % more revenue than in 2011.
The largest segment of growth in tax revenue came from the business community, something he called a good sign that business in the village is improving.
Much of the news came as businesses moved to new locations throughout the village.
Wyse noted Huntington Bank opted to consolidate its offices in Archbold to one location, investing in its facility at the intersection of South Defiance Street and West Lugbill Road.
Mike Childs, of the Childs Investment Group, purchased and remodeled the downtown Huntington building.
Brett Kahrs and Doug Bernath, of Freedom Investment Services, purchased the Childs building on South Defiance Street, moving their business there.
The law firm of attorneys Brent Winzeler and Kelli Bok moved its practice to the former Everence Financial Advisors building on Stryker Street, while Everence moved to the former Fraas Plumbing building at the intersection of Ditto and West Williams Street.
Two older buildings in the village were torn down.
The vacant Gotshall Lumber Company building on Depot Street was razed, as was the former Betty’s Restaurant on Stryker Street.
A new business came to town. The Fastenal company opened an industrial supply store in the former Blaze & Babes restaurant building on South Defiance Street.
Pamida was rebranded as Shopko.
Wyse said he was happy to see the company invest in Archbold; and as an extra, 190 Shopko stores now sell made-in-Archbold Sauder Woodworking furniture.
“It’s a win-win,” Wyse said.
Wyse said there have not been a lot of new jobs added in the village, but Sauder Woodworking quietly added 130 new jobs.
He said Kevin Sauder, company chief executive offi cer, is optimistic about future growth in 2013.
ConAgra, another major employer in Archbold, saw employment levels stabilize.
Archbold Furniture, a plant that returned to the village, has plans to expand production, he said.
“Three years ago, we had 700 automotive industry jobs. That dropped to zero.
“Two and a half years ago, Sanoh America bought the ITT-Cooper Standard building. Two and a half years later, they’re working three shifts, employing 130 people working six days a week,” Wyse said.
He said the diversification of employees through different industries “is a good thing for all of us.”
Wyse also mentioned the expansion project at Fairlawn Haven that adds a rehabilitation unit to what he called “the premier retirement community in Ohio.”
“We’re excited to see the investment,” he said.
Wyse said he remembers comments he made last year, after Archbold was selected one of the Best Hometowns in Ohio.
“We can’t win every year,” but he said Archbold won the award because of the community’s longstanding value of hard work and a great business environment, where community churches thrive.
“The values that won us the award are alive and well.
“I am optimistic about the future,” he said.