Screw factory moving to Lewisburg

Friday, April 27, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

A Cornersville business that makes a particular kind of screw is planning to move to Lewisburg, a company spokesman said Monday.

Darco Products sells the special screws it makes "strictly to distributors," according to Don Phillips, an advisor for the company that's now run by his son.

The company is moving to 551 Darnell Mealer Road, a small lot across from Mealer's Trucking and across the street from a rock quarry.

"We're a small specialized company," Phillips said. I don't think it will grow that much."

Screw manufacturing is accomplished with a machine that accepts a thin wire and processes it into a screw, he said.

Darco Products' pending move was revealed this month during the Lewisburg City Council meeting because the property for the business is to be rezoned from an intermediate business zone to a light industrial zone.

The small manufacturing business must move because another company is expanding into the space where Darco has been located.

The city's zoning ordinance does not mention the kind of business conducted by Darco Products, so the code must be amended to accommodate the move, according to Buck Beard, the city employee assigned to serve the Lewisburg Planning and Zoning Commission.

The change is to make the code more specific.

"It is a technicality," Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Jim Bingham said. "Our philosophy is that we tweak the subdivision and zoning ordinances as we go along, rather than re-do it through a monstrous thing and, of course, we only recommend."

Planning and zoning commissioners met Thursday and voted to recommend the zoning ordinance for the city

"Buck and Jim Patterson, our planning advisor, went to Darco to observe what they are doing and it's something you could do in a garage," Bingham said.

"They have spools of wire that go through a machine," the chairman said. "The wire is thinner than the lead of a pencil and when you put this through their machine it comes out as a screw...

"It's only five jobs, but ... we need any kind of job, especially something that's been proved," Bingham said.

Bingham also acknowledged a concern raised during the city council's meeting on April 10.

"Our major problem with the rezoning is that if the business went out, then there could be something to come in that the people don't want," Councilman Robin Minor said.

Nearby residents live in mobile homes, Beard noted.

The safeguard is a provision planed for the zoning code.

"If someone comes to us, and if someone wanted a rezoning for this, then if it wasn't used in a year, the rezoning would revert to its earlier classification," Bingham said.

Otherwise, he said, "If something gets turned around and the property is sold, then there's no recourse."

Councilmen will apparently consider the rezoning for a second time on May 8 when the safeguard amendment would be introduced as new business.