Injection molder Nypro Inc. plans to spend at least $5 million to build a technical center and mold-making facility on its headquarters campus, but first it must overcome opposition from local residents who object to selling some city land for the building.
Nypro wants to put in a 130,000-square-foot technical center on a baseball field that sits next to its Clinton, Mass., headquarters, but first it must convince the town to sell the land, said Nypro spokesman Al Cotton. The company would build replacement baseball diamonds nearby, he said.
Town officials already have approved the sale, but Massachusetts' open-town-meeting form of government requires that voters approve the sale at a public meeting attended by at least 200 registered voters. The meeting is set for Nov. 9.
Nypro does not plan to start construction until 2000, he said.
Moving its existing tech center and NyproMold operations would clear space in which to expand Nypro's automated assembly unit, which currently employs about 100, he said.
``We are at a point where if we can't do this, we'd have to move the jobs elsewhere,'' he said. ``Right now, we are totally landlocked.''
The expansion would add about 100 jobs at Clinton in various departments, Cotton said.
The tech center would be the engineering and testing lab for all of Nypro's plants, although some of the newer facilities have on-site tech centers, Cotton said. The new building also would let NyproMold expand from its very tight quarters, he said.
The tab for the new center could run as much as $8 million, Cotton said.
Nypro's proposal has run into opposition from residents who raise concerns about traffic from the new plant and the loss of open space and neighorhood recreation, said Michael Ward, Clinton town administrator. That group has printed bumper stickers and put up lawn signs urging residents to vote it down, he said. Nypro's plant is in downtown Clinton.
City officials, however, are recommending that voters approve the sale because it will increase the tax base in the town of 13,200 and create jobs, Ward said. Nypro is Clinton's largest employer.
Ward declined to predict the vote, but said there is ``positive reaction'' to Nypro's plan from many residents.
``There are some people who have a hard time with change, particularly when you are talking about taking public property and putting it toward some other use,'' Cotton said. ``We are working day and night with the local organizations to solve everyone's problems.''