Canton Repository

December 23, 2005

Stark companies get millions in defense bill

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON - Several Stark County companies will receive more than $13 million in federal funding for military-related projects included in a defense spending bill approved by Congress Thursday.

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, who wrote the spending into the legislation, also reserved $1 million for research on battlefield stress.

Timken Co., an internationally prominent bearings manufacturer, will get $2.1 million to develop a high speed “hybrid” bearing and $2 million to develop sensor technology to reduce mechanical breakdowns for the military.

The legislation includes $6.4 million for RTI Alloys in Canton, a subsidiary of Niles-based RTI International Metals. The funding is designated for research into lowering the cost of processing titanium, a metal used in aerospace parts, armor and other defense products.

U.S. Technology Corp. in Canton will get $2.7 million to test a mobile platform it designed with the Air Force to reduce costs and increase safety while removing paint from aircraft, inspecting planes and other tasks, company president Ray Williams said.

Regula said the federal funding he reserved through his clout as a high-ranking member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee will preserve or create jobs in his congressional district while benefiting the nation’s defense.

“We need to be very concerned in this area about jobs because we lose them here,” he said.

Critics of earmarks argue that federal agencies are a better judge of how federal dollars should be spent than lawmakers, who may be more concerned about promoting jobs and spending that benefits their constituents.

Regula said his congressional staff checks with the Defense Department to make sure the projects are useful to the military.

“We just make every effort to be sure we’re making wise use of the taxpayers’ money,” he said.