Fulton Planners Green Light Metal Fabricator’s Expansion

FULTON, NY – The Fulton Planning Commission received a dose of good news for the community Monday when representatives from Universal Metal Works rolled out a preliminary plan to expand its operations in the cash-strapped city.

Universal Metal Works President John Sharkey III, and Vice President John Sharkey VI, standing at left, present their plan to board members.
Universal Metal Works President John Sharkey III, and Vice President John Sharkey VI, standing at left, present their plan to board members.

Universal Metal Works President John Sharkey III and Vice President John Sharkey VI told Oswego County Today after the meeting, “we’re optimistic” about the proposal as the company works its way through the early planning stages.

Planning Commission member Ralph Stacy said, “Fantastic meeting of the Fulton Planning Commission this evening and now the news I have been promising,” on a social media page. “Davis-Standard (Black Clawson) will NOT be closing their plant in Fulton, and in fact will be phasing out operations in New Jersey and bringing that production to Fulton!”

Stacy noted that Universal Metal Works, located on North Second Street and Route 481, was instrumental in the decision as it works closely with Davis-Standard.

“Universal, in turn, will be expanding their facilities to accommodate the increase in their contracts AND will be leasing space to Davis-Standard for some of the work being brought from New Jersey,” Stacy said.

Univeral Metal Works President John Sharkey III and Vice President John Sharkey VI, in the foreground, discuss their plan with Planning Commission members Ralph Stacy, center and Virginia Jacopelle.

Fulton Code Enforcement’s Brace Tallents told members during the meeting that the space where Universal Metal Works plans to expand is already zoned commercial and all the Planning Commission needed to do was request approval from the county on behalf of the company.

“It’s allowed,” Tallents said, “what they’re doing is totally allowed.”

Meanwhile, the Sharkeys said they expect final plans will be ready to present to the Planning Board at its next regular meeting in December.

Board members told the company’s president and V.P. that a special meeting could be called to accommodate the plan to break ground soon in order to have the project complete before July.

The Sharkeys bought the Fulton custom metal fabrication shop from C&C Universal Metal Works in September 2010 and renamed it Universal Metal Works.

Davis-Standard, headquartered in Pawcatuck, Conn., is a global leader in the design, development and distribution of plastic and rubber extrusion and converting technology, according to its website.

The company has more than 850 employees worldwide and a network of independent sales agents and suppliers in nearly every country with two manufacturing and technical facilities in the United States, as well as subsidiaries with facilities in China, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Davis-Standard announced in August 2013 it would move manufacturing work out of its Egan blown and cast film factory in Bridgewater, N.J., to the Black Clawson plant in Fulton, according to Plastic News. That relocation covered only manufacturing. The New Jersey location continues to house engineering, project management and aftermarket service operations.

Davis-Standard is owned by Oncap, a Toronto-based private equity firm of Onex Corp.