By TRACI MOYER
Tribune business writer
Park 100 Foods in Tipton says it has agreed to buy some of Olympic Food Products Inc. assets.
While Park 100 hasn't concluded all its negotiations, Gary Meade, president, said Monday he plans to buy Olympic's Kokomo facilities and some of Olympic's machinery and equipment.
Olympic has a plant at 519 W. Spraker St. and a warehouse near Morgan Street and Wabash Avenue.
"We are not moving either of our locations to Kokomo," Meade said. "If everything continues, this will be an additional facility."
Park 100 makes custom frozen soups, sauces, chili, side dishes, gravies, fruit toppings, dips, entrees and portioned breaded meats.
Kokomo officials said the company has about 150 employees at its headquarters in Tipton and operations in Morristown.
"We are very happy the facility will not sit vacant for a long period of time and that Kokomoans will be employed again at the plant," Mayor Matt McKillip said.
"We do not yet, however, know what the job impact will be at Park 100's new Kokomo operations."
Park 100 is conducting the due diligence review associated with the purchase.
Meade said he has not determined plans for the Kokomo facility.
"Our intent is to purchase the Olympic facility and we have made an offer for some of the equipment and building there," he said.
"Meade's announcement indicates to me that they are still considering the exact type of operations they will have at the Kokomo plant," said Greg Aaron of the Kokomo/Howard County Development Corporation.
"We hope their plans will call for hiring many of the Olympic employees, but we'll have to wait and see on that issue."
Aaron said several issues are unknown, but employees already trained in food processing would be an asset to the company.
"I'm very pleased a company in the region is interested in this facility," Aaron said. "I just hope they will be able to utilize the employees from Olympic."
Kokomo's director of development, Jason Hester, said Park 100 is concerned that penalties and fines accrued by Olympic could be passed on to the new company.
"Park 100 is not at this time requesting any local incentives to entice them to Kokomo, but they don't want the wastewater fines to carry over to them should they buy the Olympic facility," said Hester. "Park 100 recognizes that Kokomo and this administration are very pro-business, and we have assured them that the penalties the City of Kokomo is issuing to the current owner of Olympic Foods will not be passed on to them.
"They will, of course, still be held to the same discharge limits and rules once they begin operations."
The city has said it will collect about $10,000 in fines for a number of sewage infractions from Tony Downs Foods, which owns Olympic.
©2004 The Kokomo Tribune.