Dowagiac recycling company growingPublished 8:00am Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Since bringing his tire recycling business to Dowagiac many years ago, DeerPath Recyclers owner Michael Demski has overseen tremendous growth of his company.
“We started at half a million tires a year, and currently we’re at a million and a half at our little building on Wood House Drive,” Demski said. “We’ve grown so much, that we’re shipping out of Niles at two [rail] cars a day.”
The recycler is looking to take that momentum and make their railroad shipments closer to home, though they’ll need to first expand their existing footprint.
The Dowagiac Planning Commission approved a building request from the recyclers on Monday, which would allow the company to build a new 200 square foot office building inside the city’s industrial park. The 19-acre lot would also contain a new road leading up to the building, Demski said.
The new single story office would be used by the company to handle logistics and maintenance for shipping, only staffed by a small crew, Demski said.
“Our office on Wood House Drive is going to handle most of the paperwork,” he said. “That’s just going to be an office place. We’ll have a phone there, so if we get a call that a truck is coming in, they can phone down to there.”
The company is working with Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation to have a second railroad line installed near the industrial park. Both Demski and MDOT will put forth over a million dollars worth of funds to complete this project.
“We have been working on this for a couple of years now,” said Cindy LaGrow, the city’s economic development consultant. “MDOT really has stepped up to the plate to help us out for this specific project. We were looking at a very, very large price tag for this project and they have came on board to support [Demski] and to sponsor his project, allowing him to reduce that cost quite a bit.”
The commission’s recommendation will move forward for approval before the Dowagiac City Council at a later date.