Midwestern Metals/Custom Dredge Works expands in Topeka

JEDO Meeting in Topeka. Custom Dredge Works is one of two businesses receiving...
JEDO Meeting in Topeka. Custom Dredge Works is one of two businesses receiving performance-based incentive agreements from JEDO. (Sept. 9, 2020)(Joseph Hennessy)
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Midwestern Metals and Custom Dredge Works will expand in Topeka, creating a total economic impact of $69 million.

GO Topeka says the Joint Economic Development Organization board approved an incentive agreement to help the expansion and growth of Midwestern Metals/Custom Dredge Works.

“We are grateful to GO Topeka and JEDO for considering us for this incentive,” said Levi Brecheisen, project manager, Custom Dredge Works. “Our expansion includes the development of five new buildings, these will house a sand-blasting and paint department as well as a dredge assembly department. With this project, we hope to see an increase in employment, production and quality and safety.”

GO Topeka said the expansion which was previously referred to as “Project Oyster,” is expected to bring in up to 17 new full-time jobs with average wages of $43,000 annually plus benefits. It said the capital investment for the project is set to be $3.5 million with a total economic impact expected within the next decade of $69 million. It said the performance-based incentive for the project is up to $96,000.

“Midwestern Metals/Custom Dredge Works has a unique history that only lends itself to the prestige of our business community: 40 years in metal fabrications and 20 years in dredge design and production. A leader in both these extremely specialized fields – right here in Topeka,” said Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla. “Work like theirs hasn’t gone unnoticed and their continued economic impact on our community through this expansion will not be overlooked.”

Shawnee County Commissioner Kevin Cook, who is also the JEDO chair, said this is an exciting expansion that provides new jobs with benefits and an economic impact of almost $70 million. He is calling the expansion a big win for Topeka and Shawnee County.

“Midwestern Metals/Custom Dredge Works is a leading supplier in custom, industrial fabricated components and a powerhouse in dredge manufacturing, a combination not commonly found elsewhere,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka, an organization of the Greater Topeka Partnership. “We hope this incentive will aid in the expansion of their facilities so that they may be able to expand their creation of quality products.”

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