The city has taken the first step toward issuing Chapter 100 industrial revenue bonds for the expansion of a Washington manufacturing company.

During their meeting Monday, city council members unanimously approved a resolution indicating their intent to issue $6 million in bonds to finance the project for Melton Machine & Control Company.

The company recently purchased the former Harman International Company building at 851 Vossbrink Drive in the Heidmann Industrial Park.

The resolution states that Melton has asked the city to prepare and approve a plan for the project “involving the acquisition, construction, improvement and equipping” the approximately 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and to issue $6 million in bonds to finance the project.

If bonds are issued and sold, the revenue would go to finance the project and the bonds would be retired through lease payments made by Melton.

“This is merely a step in the process of potentially issuing Chapter 100 bonds,” City Counselor Mark Piontek said of the resolution. “This is a prerequisite to doing anything.”

With the resolution, the city also authorizes the firm of Gilmore & Bell, P.C. as bond counsel to prepare the bond issue plan.

The actual issuance of the bonds would be subject to approval of the plan by the council, authorization by passage of an ordinance and obtaining any other governmental approvals for the project.

Melton Machine was founded in 1970 and relocated from St. Louis to Washington in 1975.

The company built its present facility in 1999 and expanded in 2007 with an addition of 44,000 square feet of manufacturing space. It currently has a 154,000-square-foot facility at 6350 Bluff Road. The firm is a recognized leader in the field of automated arc welding, serving primarily the automotive industry.

In May 2010, Melton acquired Computech Manufacturing Company, Inc. (CMC).

CMC also designs and manufactures automated systems for pharmaceutical, military, aerospace and general manufacturing. Additional products of CMC include components for aircraft ignition systems and personal cooling devices for NASCAR drivers and NASA astronauts. CMC currently employs 32 full-time employees.

The Harman company broke ground for its $26 million facility in early 2005. The city initially issued $30 million in Chapter 100 bonds for the project and later issued another $30 million for an expansion and additional equipment.

Harman International closed the manufacturing facility in June 2012.

When the Harman company was in full operation, it employed more than 300 people at the Washington plant.