Council grants abatements for Flint & Walling
By Dennis Nartker | KPC News - News Sun
The City Council Tuesday night praised Flint & Walling officials for not only expanding operations into a vacant industrial building and creating jobs but bringing the manufacture of a new product line from a plant in Mexico.
Council members unanimously approved two tax abatement resolutions for the company that is celebrating 150 years in business in the Kendallville community.
“These are two huge benefits to our community (job creation and bringing an operation from Mexico), and we should be proud to have a company like Flint & Walling in the community,” said Councilman Steve Clouse.
Councilman Frank Walkup praised Flint & Walling for its 150 years of business in Kendallville and the good wages it pays its employees.
Councilman Regan Ford complimented the company for taking over a vacant building that probably would have sat empty for a while and investing more than $5 million in the community.
Mayor Suzanne Handshoe reminded the council that during the recession in 2009 and 2010, Flint & Walling was one of the few companies not to lay off employees.
A three-year abatement was approved for the company’s $1,250,000 purchase of the former Superior Essex building at 800 W. Mitchell St. State law allows for a maximum three-year abatement on buildings that have been vacant for at least one year.
Superior Essex closed its West Mitchell Street magnet-wire plant in April 2015, resulting in the loss of 52 jobs. Flint & Walling is in the process of acquiring the 97,995-square-foot building.
The sliding-scale abatement means Flint & Walling will pay no taxes on the building in the first year, with 66 percent abated in the second year and 33 percent in the third year. The company will save approximately $70,138 in taxes.
A 10-year, sliding-scale abatement was approved for $4,069,500 in equipment. The sliding scale means Flint & Walling will pay no taxes on the equipment in the first year, with 90 percent abated in the second year, 80 percent in the third year and so on. The company will save about $240,000 in taxes.
Flint & Walling will be introducing a new line of electric motors and is planning to bring products currently made in Mexico back to the United States. The company presently has 164 employees manufacturing pumps and water systems at its plant at 95 Oak St.
The tax abatements will help the company retain its employees and add 20 full-time employees for the new product line.
The Economic Development Advisory Committee voted Nov. 28 to recommend the abatements.
Flint & Walling hopes to occupy the West Mitchell Street building this month and begin making electric motors by the end of January.
The expansion will generate approximately $880,339 in wages. The abatements must be approved by the state before taking effect.