November 29, 2013


Rope maker facility takes shape

E.L Wood building new 25,000-square-foot factory in Marathon

RopeJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Michael Atwood of Syracuse-based L.A. Dennis Construction works Monday on the sheet metal exterior of a new 25,000-square-foot E.L. Wood Braiding Company building in Marathon.

Staff Reporter

MARATHON — After more than a year and a half of planning, the E.L. Wood Braiding Co. is constructing a factory and warehouse here and will be closing its Homer facility as soon as January.
Established in 1995, E.L. Wood is a family-owned manufacturer of custom braided rope and cordage such as parachute cords and twine which is commonly used in the military, tactical and aerospace industries.
Co-owner and office manager Renee Adams said the company began erecting the 25,000-square-foot building about two months ago next door to its 22,000-square-foot main facility at 542 Route 11 in Marathon.
The company also manufactures its products at a second facility located at 43 James St. in Homer and Adams said equipment will be moved to the new building once the project is completed.
Adams said in addition to more storage space, cost and convenience were two of the main reasons behind wanting to build the structure.
“It just makes more sense to have everything here in Marathon,” Adams said, “Having both facilities is going to help cut expenses on traveling back and forth between the two buildings ... and, of course, with the municipal electric here in Marathon that helps, too.”
In 2007, the village of Marathon spent $500,000 upgrading its municipal electrical system where rates were already 40 percent lower than towns and villages without a similar system in place, such as Homer.
Adams added 14 employees work at the James Street building and there are no plans to cut or add jobs once the move is completed.
The company’s construction project was originally brought before the Marathon Town Board and the proposal was reviewed by the Cortland County Planning Department in March 2012, which recommended the company seek a variance to erect the building in the town’s business district, where construction of buildings used for manufacturing is prohibited.
The most difficult part of getting started was acquiring the necessary permits, Adams said.
The company received its final permit — a building permit — in September and construction started a month later, she said.
“There were so many (permits) between the state Department of Transportation and the county Health Department,” Adams said. “But we’re all done. We have everything we need now.”
Adams said she did not know exactly how much the project would end up costing but specified E.L. Wood is not receiving any funding through grants or taxpayer dollars.


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