C & S to repay part of state loan

C & S Products Co. Inc. in Fort Dodge has agreed to repay $80,000 to the state for failing to comply with the one of the requirements of a loan it received to help pay for a recent expansion.

The loan agreement required the maker of wild bird feed to offer a certain level of health care and dental benefits to its employees, according to Tina Hoffman, the marketing and communications director for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

”At the time of completion, they were not offering sufficient benefits that were required in that contract,” she said Friday.

Tim O’Tool, vice president of operations at C & S Products, said state officials never informed the company that it was not complying with the terms of its loan agreement. He said the problem was discovered when company leaders approached the Iowa Economic Development Authority in November 2012 to see if their plan was in compliance with the requirements.

”We had a number of requirements we had to meet, all of which we met and maintained with the exception of one health care provision on which we fell out of compliance,” he said.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board of directors approved the repayment plan Friday morning.

O’Tool said making the payment will be the most cost effective way of dealing with the matter.

C & S Products received a $200,000 loan from the state in 2009 to help finance a $3.1 million expansion at its plant at 1528 Cardinal Ave. One half of the loan amount, $100,000, was to be forgiven as long as the company met all the requirements established by the state.

The expansion project created two dry blending systems, a fully automated packaging line and a processing and unloading facility with a climate controlled storage area.

The company was expected to create five new jobs in conjunction with the expansion. However, O’Tool said an additional 17 people were hired for a total workforce of 74.