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February 5, 2009

 

City grants Cortland Line $80,000 loan

Cortland Line

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Braider mechanic Norm Tracey works on a braiding machine at Cortland Line. The Common Council approved an $80,000 loan for the business that the company will use to buy new braiding machines.

By ELAINE HUGHES
Staff Reporter
ehughes@cortlandstandard.net

The city’s Common Council approved an $80,000 loan Tuesday for Cortland Line Co. to purchase 40 new machines that will allow the company to continue expanding its production of industrial materials.
The loan will cover the entire cost of the 40 new machines, which will braid strands of cotton into thick lines that are used by the military and private industries.
Cortland Line already owns about 40 of these braiders, and the loan will allow the company to double the size of its current operation, said Cortland Line President Brian Ward.
Since 1915, Cortland Line has manufactured different varieties of reels and fishing line that are now sold on the Internet and at pro shops across the country.
All the products are produced at the company’s facility on Kellogg Road, and recent fishing sales have been “flat” with the slumping economy and a decreased interest in the sport.
The company has always produced different varieties of line ordered by industries, and Ward said the company is “interested in expanding its product diversification” to stay competitive in the current market.
In October, Cortland Line Co. had more inventory than met the market’s needs and was forced to lay off about 20 workers.
About 65 workers are employed now at the company’s Kellogg Road facility, and Ward said none of the workers laid off in October had been brought back yet.
The company would consider rehiring the workers if the business increases in the coming months, Ward added.
In about a month, Cortland Line Co. will be running the new machines and will be hiring four new employees to operate and maintain the new machines.
Ward said he would like to hire back some of the company’s former workers but would consider anyone who is qualified to operate and run the braiding machines.
The creation of jobs caused Cortland Line to qualify for the loan, said Linda Armstrong, a project manager from Thoma Development Consultants.
Since 1982, the city has run a program for local businesses to apply for funds that will stimulate the local economy by creating or retaining jobs in the city.
All applications are considered by the City Community Loan Development Committee, which is a six-member committee comprised of residents, city officials and business owners that reviews applications and makes a recommendation to the council, which must approve the loans.
The loan will be repaid over a five-year period, Ward said.
The interest rate depends on stock market conditions when the loan is approved, and with the current economic conditions, the interest rate should be relatively low, Armstrong said.
She added the loans’ funds will come from an account that is currently administered through Thoma and was created for the program using a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban and Development.

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