Norwalk mayor laments loss of EPIC

Duncan: "We will see some jobs come here."
Scott Seitz2
Jan 19, 2014


Mayor Rob Duncan called the impending loss of EPIC Technologies "devastating" at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Duncan took a few moments to talk to council about the eventual loss of the company, which will cost 85 employees their jobs.

Duncan said EPIC officials indicated the closure would take place by the end of the second quarter of 2014.

He added that due to the closure of Janesville Acoustics, officials were in better position to form a Rapid Response team.

"We will see some jobs come here," Duncan said as he closed his remarks.

The meeting started with a 40-minute executive session for economic development purposes.

Afterward, Duncan said he couldn't provide many details about the closed session but did say "this is something we've been looking at for a while.

"We've got to be proactive in terms of incentive packages," the mayor added.

In other business, Josh Snyder, public works director, said it appears a compromise has been reached in regards to the paving of West Water Street.

At last week's meeting, apartment complex owner and city firefighter Jeff Phillips requested West Water be paved, since, in his words, the street washed away in the flood of 2006 and was never repaired.

Snyder and Phillips revisited the site recently.

Snyder said the city will pave a 4- to 6-foot wide section of the road this year at a cost of $1,500 to $2,000.

"That will address the worst area and minimally affect the larger project to come," he said.

Snyder was resistant to do a full resurfacing of West Water because the road will be torn up again in two years for a major sewer project.

Finally, council is reviewing legislation regarding the parking of recreational vehicles, watercraft and trailers.



Re: "decent progress has been made on the plan's recommendations."

On ol' "jobs, jobs, jobs" watch?


"And none of this creates jobs."

If infrastructure wasn't an important factor to prospective employers you 'might' have a point.


Progress was made early on this year with the opening of Sofios and changes uptown, and the former administration knocked some things off the list.

Re-read the plan. It speaks of city planning ideas, not infrastructure based on the needs of new business. Kid you'd read the plan you might have a point.

Kottage Kat

I have a copy of the Comprehensive plan if you would care to copy and read.


Re: "Comprehensive plan"

FYI: On the web.

The link to 'Restarting Our Engines' is however, broken:

The city paid a consultant hard earned taxpayer money to facilitate and compile this report and it's MIA?


I'll be looking for your name on the next presidential ballot or at least the next election for mayor. You've got all the answers, take the bull by the horns. Hang those big ol' balls of yours out there. Take us into the future. U got my vote. Not because i actually believe any of the crap you say. Hell, youre already the mayor of the reflector comment section.


Re: "I'll (snip)"

Nah Cupcake, just 'trust' in the reassuring words of ol' Mayor Duncan:

"We will see some jobs come here."


Come on fruitcake. Guess those balls aren't as big as advertised. If you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. With your economic prowess, start up a thriving business that can hire some of norwalks unemployed.


Re: "If you are part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." ????

As suspected, I'm attempting to converse with a trash talking moron.

Have a nice day Cupcake.


Well maybe a face to face conversation is in order. Come on and show me your balls now fruitcake. As suspected Im dealing with a keyboard bandit. Tell your mom the meatloaf was a little dry last time, and do like she told you, clean the damn basement.


@Contango is just living the dream in his mom's shadow!


All the comprehensive plans in the world won't stop a company that has made up it's mind to move. Most of these companies don't give a crap about their employees or the city that has been their home for years. They only want more money, and if they can get it by moving down south (or another area) where they can pay minimum wage they will do it. Years ago, companies were run by locals who had worked their way up to the top. Nowadays, most are run by a college graduate who has never done a physical job in his life. If the book says it should be run a certain way, that's the end of the story. Hopefully this trend will change and jobs will start coming back to the areas who have made companies successful. That's the sad thing. A lot of companies were started and made with local labor, only to be stabbed in the back and the jobs given to someone with less qualifications. Then we wonder why quality has gone in American products.

Really are you ...

NEDC "... Come to Norwalk- Where Tradition and Innovation Meet!"

In Norwalk, just like the Cleveland Browns, we are thriving on tradition and hoping for a winning season.

Innovation! Wow! Really! I can be the first to say: Really are you kidding me? On this blog site and the Sandusky Register blog site I have been called everything from a snake oil salesman to cow excrement.


Really are you - you are right. Opportunity doesn't knock, build a doorway. Again what have most here done besides talk? Probably nothing. Again the previous mayor & Lt.Gov. Fischer tried. I do know that they went to the Columbus area & tried to convince a profitable company to stay. It takes an effort by many not just a few.

swiss family

It definitely seems like the time to change directions. Jobs are getting more and more scarce.what if we decided to become a place like Mansfield or Marysville, and bought up as much property out in the country, make sure it is annexed into our town, and build a huge multi leveled prison... think of the jobs that would create... think of all of the jobs, just in building the structure, everything from clearing the land, to building the structure, the electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers, etc.... then think of the jobs to run the prison, everything from guards to dietitians,chaplains, laundry workers, medical staff etc.... we could make money from other communities sending their criminals here, instead of paying to send ours elsewhere.

While we are at it, we could build and run our own "Christian based drug rehabilitation center" which our Judge is so fond of sending our criminals to, at the expense of the local citizens. Again , we could actually make money off of other communities sending their criminals here.

Obviously, the auto industry , that we relied so heavily on in the past, to supply our local jobs, is fading into the past, we need to change directions and try to not only keep jobs here, but to create new jobs.I know , the cost will be great, but the jobs, and careers, that we will have here will keep our community my opinion


Christian based rehab is not taxpayer funded and costs us nothing. In fact due to its success rate it saves us money. Kudos to Conway for his innovative approach.

swiss family

you might be right about the Christian based rehab...but I know when our jail if full, we pay other jails to keep our criminal in.. so this would make us money that way AND create JOBS< JOBS< JOBS... to run the place and also to build it...

Really are you ...

Bravo! Excellent ideas. On the building part, what if a new Norwalk Trucker football stadium was built across from the newer NHS? The schools can't fund it, obviously. But if a private company, or monitarily wealth person built it. Like Huron and Kalihari. It could be named after whoever funded it and Trucker Stadium. Towards the end zone call it the "Truck Stop." Even though there is a lot of tradition and memories of games played by both Norwalk and St. Paul at Whitney Field, we're talking about moving forward. St. Paul could have Whitney Field and Norwalk would have the Truck Stop. Err, Trucker Stadium.


I support "truck Stop!"


Re: "I support (snip)"

Speaking of the "Comprehensive Plan," herein lies the long range demographic problem:

"Approximately thirty percent of the students (out of a sample of 105) thought there was some likelihood that they would return to live in the Norwalk area. Many more wanted to sample some other part of the world after graduation." (pg. 9)

Also, the largest employers in Norwalk are healthcare & govt. - NOT an indication of a healthy, growing economy.

Good luck with all your 'big idea' incentives, Sport.


Re: "sport"

What are you, 70?

I won't apologize for floating ideas about how to make my City better. So, while uneducated naysayers such as yourself criticize from the cheap seats, I'll do my best to contribute what I'm able to make this a better place in which to live.


Re: "What are you, 70?"

Nope, Sport.


Re: "But if a private company, or monetarily (sic) wealth person built it."

There's only a handful of wealthy people left in town - good luck.

Maybe there's another Suhr family out there who'll fly in, give Norwalk a check and then leave.

swiss family

I wish that field was for sale...... I would buy a McDonalds or Wendy's franchise right across from the school....$$$$$$$$$

Really are you ...

Grrr! I could be that person that saves this economy. But I can not get a grip on the right mindset. Always having worked for somebody, letting that place of employment worry about maintaining and finding new business. In the military, orders come down and you get the job done. It is a total flip when seeking advice trying to be the boss. Why try and rebuttal all the naysayers? Will this work? Absolutely, as sure as 1+2=3, and 2+3=5. But mentally arguing with myself. "Yes I can do this. But why? Evil trumps good. How would I benefit."
Contango says, "Not everyone will want to generate electricity in their house." Correct, but the song "Some girls do," by Sawyer Brown could be a rebuttal. I nstead of like, girls, and boys in the lyrics use generate electricity and people. " Some people don't want to generate electricity, ah but some people do."
Contango says, "It is all about shut up or put up." Sorry, but I am trying. I don't have silver lined pockets.
Waspisback say "you are cow excrement. Yes! I am the ?!it!


@ Really are you kidding me:

You've taken my words out of context, paraphrased them and misunderstood them.

Suggest you re-read some pertinent points of our dialog AGAIN:


“As I’ve always said, government doesn’t create jobs,
businesses create jobs,”

- Mayor Duncan, NR, 1/22/14

Believe that the phrase is:

The public sector doesn't create jobs, the private sector does.

Noticed that the new incentives don't include retail - mistake.

Don't know that beggars can be choosers.


Re: "Noticed that the new incentives don't include retail - mistake."

Thought you didn't like incentives, now you want more? Let us know when you make up that narrow mind of yours.


Re: "Thought you didn't like incentives,"

Well, if they're gonna go through the motions...

So why exclude retail?

Attempting to possibly have a dialog here Sport, or would you rather continue to spew your juvenile pejoratives?

We seem to agree more than we don't don't; it's mostly semantics.


They did not exclude retail. The incentive is for job creation and does not specify what type of industry. Word has it that this was the work of NEDC director Ellen Heinz. Good on her for a creative approach.


The comprehensive plan is nothing but a two inch thick book loaded with BS. It goes like kind of like this: In a perfect world, we the people of Norwalk, would like to have parks with green space, and art facilities, and restaurants, and cats and dogs living together,blah blah blah. There is no real teeth in it, and no answers on how to pay for this perfect world. The only time it is ever referred to, is when they want to justify another park. No plan is worth its weight if it does not offer ways to implement the ideas in it.
As far as the NEDC, Janesville leases a storage warehouse from the NEDC. When Janesville asked about extending their lease for a year-the first thing the NEDC did was raise the rent, and make other demands, so Janesville said, "Never mind".