By Marty Loncar
March 13, 2018

The city of Mentor continues efforts to boost businesses from around the block and around the world. City Council this month awarded grants to the community’s largest industrial project in more than a decade.

This week, Council agreed to assist a development on the other end of the spectrum. Council on Jan. 17 approved a one-time $10,000 Economic Development Grant to Citywide Solutions, Inc.

The company, which has offices in Concord Township and Dublin, Ohio, specializes in the design and installation of video surveillance systems, access controls, intrusion detection, gate automation and parking revenue control equipment. The business purchased a 5,000-square-foot building at 6801 Hopkins Road in Mentor to establish as its corporate headquarters, sales office and service/distribution facility. The expansion is necessary because of continued business growth, company officials say.

Citywide Solutions did $4.1 million in annual sales last year, up from $861,000 in 2014.

“They have done very well in terms of their business model,” said Ronald M. Traub, Mentor’s Economic & Community Development director. “They have enjoyed significant growth from being a rather small business.”

The company will invest $250,000 in purchasing the Hopkins property and make an additional $40,000 investment in building upgrades. Eleven employees will be moved to Mentor, along with a payroll of $512,000. Company officials anticipate increasing staff to 19 employees by 2019 with an annual payroll of $700,000. The grant will assist with costs associated with the move and to upgrade the new location.

On Jan. 3, the city awarded a $10,000 Economic Development Grant to global manufacturer De Nora Tech’s $31 million project, including a 130,000-square-foot building off of Tyler Boulevard. The grant will go toward expenses associated with a sewer capacity fee and a fire booster pump that will serve the new building.

De Nora Tech — a subsidiary of Milan, Italy-based De Nora — also received a Mentor Incentive Grant equal to half its annual payroll taxes from 2019 to 2029. As of February 2016, De Nora Tech maintained a payroll of about $7.5 million and employed 144.

The city’s grants are funded by nontax revenue sources in the general fund, such as charges for services at the Mentor Lagoons Marina, Black Brook Golf Course, Mentor Civic Arena, registration fees, etc.