Kendallville OKs tax break for Flint & Walling

May 4th, 2018

By Steve Garbacz | KPC Media - The News Sun

Chalk up another tax break for manufacturer Flint & Walling, as the company plans to add $1.56 million in new equipment.

The new motor manufacturing line for its plant at 800 W. Mitchell St. is expected to add at least 18 new jobs by Dec. 31, 2020.

The Kendallville City Council reviewed the tax abatement request Tuesday night, after receiving a favorable recommendation for a seven-year tax break from the city’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Flint & Walling will be purchasing new electric motor manufacturing equipment and tooling, as well as inspection equipment, material handling items and product trays.

The new product line will add at least 18 jobs, with an average salary of $42,575.

By receiving the tax break, property taxes on the new equipment will phase in over seven years. The abatement is expected to save Flint & Walling approximately $66,638 over the seven years.

The company had been planning on this expansion earlier in the year and had originally wanted to combine it with a separate $1.5 million expansion at the Oak Street plant. However, the Noble County Assessor asked the company to split them, since they are at different locations.

Because the investment for each separate project was lower at about $1.5 million each, the city’s economic advisory committee suggested seven-year abatements as opposed to longer 10-year terms that Flint & Walling usually gets, due to how the city’s guidelines are set up.

Flint & Walling is Kendallville’s oldest industry and currently employs more than 200 people. The company just opened its Mitchell Street facility in the former Superior Essex building earlier this spring. Company executives promised the opening was just the beginning, as the facility will continue to increase production of electric motors and bring a manufacturing process in-house that was previously farmed out to a supplier in Mexico.

Council members had little to discuss before approving the tax break for the reliable Kendallville employer.

“We’re grateful for the investment,” Mayor Suzanne Handshoe said.