PAYSON — A Lindon-based bullet-maker has made a major step toward moving from its current location to the Payson Business Park.

Barnes Bullets on Friday offered to buy the now-shuttered Knaack manufacturing plant, according to LaMar Brooks, the company's executive vice president.

The offer, which has not yet been accepted or denied, was not disclosed, but the asking price is $8.95 million.

If completed, the purchase will drive new life into the business park.

Knaack, which manufactured tool boxes and other industrial items at the site, closed its doors and left Utah to return to its Crystal Lake, Ill., home base about a year ago.

Barnes Bullets executives had said the 350,000-square-foot manufacturing center was too large but now say they can use the space. The company currently works out of a 45,000-square-foot plant on Lindon's west side. The company initially wanted 175,000 square feet.

If plans are realized, Barnes' new facility will include a 300-yard shooting range, similar to the concrete-lined underground range at the present site.

Barnes Bullets is making the move from Lindon, which is about 25 miles north of Payson, to expand into the large military and police bullet market.

When word broke in the Deseret Morning News that Barnes Bullets was thinking about moving to Payson, other suitors swarmed in like bees to honey.

"We've had calls from Wyoming to southern Utah," Brooks said.

Payson remained No. 1 on the company's list, however. City officials moved quickly to help the bullet-maker obtain a low-interest, federally insured loan for new, larger facilities.

"A city is crazy not to do it," Brooks said, "especially one that wants development."

Payson's business park is in a redevelopment area, which is a requirement of the loan, Brooks said.

Expanding its military and police market would triple production to 300 million bullets per year. Barnes Bullets makes military and police bullets now but needs a larger facility to land the big contracts, co-owner Randy Brooks said. The company also manufactures expanding solid copper hunting bullets, its specialty, and some lead bullets.

Payson city leaders and a few council members toured the Lindon plant last Thursday to get a better idea of what the city will be getting in its newest business.


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com