Vintage Metal Werks of Wapakoneta, Ohio, recently received a $70,000 grant from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority to purchase and install a new semi-downdraft paint booth.
Vintage Metal Werks – soon to be known as Auglaize Auto Body – was established in 2011 as a shop specializing in refurbished vintage Volkswagen buses. With the shop shifting to a full-service collision repair operation and soon moving into a new facility, owner Joe Patterson said the business wanted to upgrade to “equipment that will improve our productivity, efficiency and safety.”
“The new energy-efficient booth uses 30 percent less energy, recycles 80 percent of the heat generated in the bake cycle and will allow us to paint seven or eight vehicles per day,” Patterson said.
In addition, Patterson said the unit will feature a prep station for sanding and priming small areas on vehicles, which will save time and help keep the air clean in the shop.
Because the shop will be able to process more vehicles, Vintage Metal Werks plans to add one or two employees now and one or two additional team members in the spring.
The grant comes from the state’s Clean Air Resource Center (CARC) program.
Patterson stumbled upon a website with information about state grants when he was shopping online for paint booths, he told LimaOhio.com. He contacted the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA), which sent him the application paperwork.
Patterson and his wife attended the OAQDA’s September meeting, and told the board about their body shop and what they would do with the grant money. The authority approved the grant request at the meeting.
“Financing for pollution control or prevention equipment for small businesses like Vintage Metal Werks is available through the Clean Air Resource Center,” OAQDA Executive Director Chadwick Smith said. “This new paint booth is typical of projects approved by OAQDA through CARC to support the mission of preserving clean air in Ohio.”