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County gives tax break to BF Goodrich

December 19th, 2016

Woodburn plant to retain jobs

By Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Council on Thursday unanimously approved a tax abatement for tire manufacturer BF Good­rich.

The company will save about $3.5 million over a 10-year period. The purpose of the abatement, said Councilman Bob Armstrong, R-at large, is to update existing equipment at the plant to allow for the manufacture of new products at the company’s Woodburn plant.

The facility was founded in 1961.

As a result of the abatement, company officials have said the plant will retain about 1,600 Allen County jobs. On paperwork submitted to the County Council, BF Goodrich indicated that it does not plan on creating any new full-time positions. 

Armstrong said he looked at the abatement as an opportunity to retain existing jobs. 

“They’ve been pretty good stewards to Woodburn and Allen County, and they’ve made the commitment to stay here,” Armstrong said after the meeting. “They had the opportunity to leave and go to Ohio, but they stayed here.”

In other business, a request by newly elected Allen County Surveyor Jeff Sorg for a 50 percent pay increase was withdrawn from Thursday’s County Council agenda. 

This month, Sorg, who defeated current Surveyor Alan Frisinger in the Republican primary election last year, asked the county’s personnel committee for the increase. Sorg, who lent $40,000 to his election campaign, argued that his duties as surveyor merit an increase from $47,555 to $71,333, even though he is not a licensed surveyor. Frisinger, who is a licensed surveyor, was paid $71,333.

Although the item was pulled from Thursday’s agenda, there is a chance the matter could be revisited in early 2017.