Committee approves granting incentives
By Dennis Nartker | KPC News - The News Sun
On March 21, the Kendallville City Council will consider the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s recommendations to grant tax abatements for LSC Communications (formerly Courier Kendallville) and Ashley Industrial Molding Inc.
A total of 27 new jobs will be created by equipment additions at the two companies’ manufacturing facilities in Kendallville, according to their representatives.
EDAC members voted unanimously to recommend 10 years of full abatement for LS Communications for $9.2 million in new equipment at its digital printing operation at 3094 Lester Drive. The equipment expansion is expected to create 25 phased-in new jobs while retaining 104 employees at its digital printing facility.
Committee members also recommended a five-year, sliding-scale abatement for Ashley Industrial Molding for $312,000 in new equipment at its facility at 100 S. Progress Drive. The equipment expansion is expected to create two new jobs. The company currently has 45 employees at its Kendallville location.
LSC Communications (identified as Courier Kendallville Inc. for tax purposes) plans to add a third Hewlett-Packard high-speed, four-color digital printer to its facility and upgrade the two existing HP high-speed, four-color digital printers, plant manager Eric Falter told the committee Monday.
In February 2015, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Inc. acquired Courier Corp., including Courier’s printing facility at 2500 E. Marion Drive and its digital printing and warehouse operations at 3094 Lester Drive. R.R. Donnelley & Sons then split into three independent companies, which included LSC Communications, according to Falter.
“We are in the process of rebranding all our facilities,” he said.
LSC Communications has digital printing operations in Crawfordsville, Harrisburg, Virginia, and North Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Existing infrastructure, tax incentives and support from the community were factors in choosing the Kendallville digital operation for expansion, according to Falter, who oversees all of LSC Communications’ Kendallville locations.
“We want to start production by the end of April and will probably be fully ramped up by the fall,” Falter said. The company has begun hiring new employees.
Mayor Suzanne Handshoe pointed out the investment is not just for the local facility but for the community. Several contractors will be staying temporarily in Kendallville area to install and test the new equipment and train employees. They will be buying groceries and gas, and eating in area restaurants.
Committee member Jerry Stienbarger praised the company for starting its digital print operation in Kendallville, and its continued expansion and investment in the local facilities.
The company is Kendallville’s largest employer and one of the largest in Noble County, with more than 700 workers at is offset printing facility on Marion Drive in addition to its digital printing and warehouse operations.
LSC Communications would realize a tax savings of $542,709 over the 10-year abatement.
The company prints and binds digitally produced hardcover and softcover books at its digital printing facility in Kendallville.
Ashley Industrial Molding plans to install two new reaction injection-molding and metering units at its East Industrial Park facility. CEO Scott Pflughoeft told committee members the company has a new customer and an opportunity for growth with the new equipment.
Ashley Industrial Molding would realize a tax savings of $11,321 by the end the five-year abatement.