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3 companies seek tax abatements for 74 jobs

May 21st, 2018

By Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette

Next week, the New Haven City Council will consider a tax abatement request from Swedish engineering group Trelleborg for the company's planned $3.6 million expansion on Bremer Road that is expected to create 40 jobs.

The Fort Wayne City Council will also consider two new tax abatement requests during its June 5 meeting. Those applications -- from Advanced Cutting Systems Inc. and Vita Nonwovens LLC -- will be introduced Tuesday. Those companies are expected to create a total of 34 new jobs.

According to a tax abatement application submitted to New Haven Economic Development, Trelleborg plans to add an 8,000 square-foot building to the existing 73,656-square foot manufacturing and office building at 2509 Bremer Road. If approved, construction would start next month and be complete in January. 

The project is expected to create 40 full-time jobs. According to documents filed with the city of New Haven, the company would save $87,554 in taxes on equipment and $330,253 in property taxes over the span of the 10-year abatement. 

Advanced Cutting Systems' $784,000 project will install new manufacturing equipment at its Piper Drive site. The project will retain 40 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $1.5 million and create 12 new jobs with an annual payroll of $355,000. 

Vita Nonwovens is planning a $19 million project that includes a 140,000 square-foot expansion at 9403 Avionics Drive. Inside the expanded facility, the company plans to place about $9.7 million in new production equipment. According to documents submitted to the Fort Wayne City Council, the project would retain 86 full-time and 32 part-time jobs with an annual payroll of about $4.7 million. The expansion will create 22 new full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $920,635. 

A third company, Alconex Specialty Products, is requesting a waiver of noncompliance related to a tax abatement the company thought it received last year. Beause of what Alconex representatives called in a letter to City Council "a clerical oversight," the abatement was never officially awarded. Alconex is located at 4204 W. Ferguson Road. 

"We have invested over $48 million into a building, built by a local builder, on the basis of a signed agreement showing $886,736 in real and personal property tax phase in abatements," the letter, signed by C. David McBane, the compay's CEO; Mark Wilkins, CFO; and James Reynolds, vice president of sales, states. 

If Alconex doesn't receive an abatement, the company's top officials have threatened to move the company to Texas or Mexico. 

"If we do not get the awarded abatements we will be forced to look at a relocation move in the coming years. Instead of growing in Fort Wayne, like we have for the past 31 years, we will be selling the building and taking 75 jobs and giving them to another community."