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Manufacturer applies for building variance
Has plans to expand operations
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A local steel fabricator has applied for a building variance in anticipation of expanding its manufacturing operations.

Impulse Investments Inc., located at 55 Impulse Industrial Drive, is asking the county to deviate from the Ga. 400 corridor guidelines to allow "exterior material for screenings of loading areas and parking."

According to the applicant, granting the request would not be detrimental to the guidelines since the property is not visible from Ga. 400.

Late last year, Karl Baysden, director of sales and marketing with Impulse Manufacturing, said the company has plans to expand manufacturing operations in 2014.

The 150,000-square-foot plant sits on nearly 18 acres off G.W. Taffer Road and employs more than 200 workers over three shifts. It produces parts for several small excavator models, including a new Caterpillar production facility in Athens.

"We know ... we're going to run into some capacity issues specifically on the paint line," Baysden said. "By 2015, we're going to hit that capacity. Absolutely, we're going to need to expand that paint line."

At the time, it was unclear if the expansion would be to enlarge the local plant or set up a new operation in Athens or Charlotte, N.C.

There were talks of possible tax abatement to keep the company from expanding elsewhere, though no formal proposal requesting tax incentives has been made, Baysden said.

The company, he said, was looking into possible tax breaks on the equipment, which would not function at full capacity or produce profits for the first couple of years.

The $7.5 million proposed expansion calls for an additional 50,000 square feet of space to house a new paint line and more than $5 million in equipment. Officials estimate the expansion would create 75-100 new jobs within 18 months.

The variance request goes before the county planning commission March 27. The meeting will be held on the second floor of the Dawson County Government Center.