MOUNT GILEAD, OHIO Morrow County, Ohio, has filed a foreclosure action against Taylor's Property Management LLC, which owes more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes for HPM, its factory that makes plastics injection presses and sheet lines, die-casting equipment and components for wind turbines in Mount Gilead.
County Treasurer Daniel Green filed the complaint Aug. 19 in Morrow County Common Pleas Court asking the court to order a sheriff's sale unless the money is paid ``within a reasonable time.''
Two days later, Judge Howard Hall issued a restraining order that forbids Taylor's from removing any equipment from HPM.
Court documents list 53 companies, government offices or individuals that may claim interest in the real estate. Many of the 53 hold liens, claiming they're owed money. Named in the foreclosure is Christopher Filos, president and chief executive officer of Taylor's Industrial Services LLC in Tinton Falls, N.J., and its HPM division.
As of Aug. 28, Green said HPM owes $911,789 in taxes: $830,106 in personal property tax, which covers machinery and inventory; and $81,683 for real estate taxes.
Filos, contacted Aug. 29, called the matter ``an oversight.''
``We're paying it next week,'' he said, declining further comment.
Green said the county will welcome payment for taxes owed, which date back several years.
``If payment is made, all proceedings against Taylor would stop immediately,'' Green said.
HPM has deep roots in small-town Mount Gilead.
Green, in an Aug. 28 interview at his office, said he hopes HPM can get current on taxes and stay in business. ``There's been a lot of people over the years that worked there. So no, I don't like doing this at all,'' he said.
He said Morrow County officials have tried to set up payment plans for HPM going back four years. The firm has made some payments, but the taxes, interest and penalties continue to pile up.
The firm also owes $500,000 for a loan from Morrow County's revolving loan fund, said Patricia Davies, operations director for Morrow County Development Office. Taylor's has made some payments, but the money was applied to penalties and interest, not to loan principal, she said. HPM got the loan in 2003.
In addition to its production of plastics machinery, HPM has become a major supplier of metal parts for wind turbines. ``This is a major opportunity in Ohio,'' Davies said.
``We want HPM to succeed, because we believe that means [Filos] will be able to be a good community player in Morrow County,'' Davies said.
Ed Weston, director of the Cleveland-based Great Lakes Wind Network, said HPM ``has established an international footprint in the wind industry.''
``HPM produces some of the largest parts for the turbine. Suppliers like HPM are critical to the industry, and also to the state of Ohio,'' Weston said.