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Zoning changed for firm

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St. Cloud company coming to Williston

By Lou Elliott Jones

The owners of Hoseline Inc., one of three companies that manufactures air conditioning and heating units for emergency vehicles and handcart units used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, won final approval for a change to the county’s land use plan and a zoning change for a facility in Williston.

The family-owned company requested a change in the Levy County Future Land Use Plan for 10.58 acres on County Road 316 and U.S. Highway 27 from urban low density residential use to commercial use.

In July, the Levy County Board of Commissioners gave it their approval and sent it on to the state Department of Community Affairs which found no problems with the proposed change.

On Tuesday, the commission gave the change its final blessing and also approved a change in zoning from residential to C-3, moderately intensive commercial.

Linda Grafton said in July that the company wants to join the 10.58 acres with another five acres they  own to create one contiguous piece of property for manufacturing and warehouse operations.

The Graftons have been working on a possible move from St. Cloud to Levy County for five years. 

“We definitely have our plans for the five acres,” Linda Grafton.  “We’re landlocked and can’t expand.” She said they have no storage capability at their current location near Orlando.

She said the dip in the economy has delayed their move to Williston by two to three years. The company has weathered the recession — without employee layoffs — selling the cooling and heating units used in ambulances and fire vehicles, and to cool military tents and aircraft. “We’ve stayed stable. We have not had to lay anyone off.”

Hoseline employs 14 people, she said. A few workers plan to move with the company, but others will be staying in St. Cloud, Grafton said. So that means the company will have to hire replacements. 

The planned expansion calls for selling their products, which would be assembled in Williston, to overseas customers. So, the nearby Williston Airport is a plus; allowing the company to expand its markets, Grafton said.

The company is already familiar to anyone who has taken a ride in the new county Emergency Medical units, as the trucks’ air units are Hoseline products. 

The county’s new ambulances come from Wheel Coach near St. Cloud and they use Hoseline products in their ambulances.