United Technologies Electronic Controls, Inc. expanding in Huntington

February 25th, 2014

News Coverage:

City approves tax abatement for United Technologies

Company to invest $1.5 million in equipment

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:00 pm

BY LUCAS BECHTOL lbechtol@h-ponline.com

The Huntington City Common Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for a local manufacturer during its meeting on Tuesday morning.

United Technologies Electronic Controls, Inc. received a tax abatement, meaning property taxes will be phased in over a 10-year period, for around $1.5 million worth of manufacturing and research and development equipment, according to the company’s SB-1 form.

The equipment will be used to “support production requirements, improve quality and provide higher technology” at the plant, according to the form.

The form also states that all 736 employees should be retained, though no additional jobs were cited on the form. The salaries for these employees are listed at around $32.6 million total.

Huntington City Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher said a representative from United Technologies, Alex Housten, was at the meeting of the Economic Development Commission, which recommended the council approve the abatement.

“He was talking about how they would maintain the employees and they would hope to expand,” she said.

The equipment will be used to help improve their products.

“They make controls for ventilation in box trucks to keep them cool,” Scher said. “That control is what they’re manufacturing and they are making it more high tech so they can compete in the world market.”

Scher added United Technologies was given two years to complete the project.

“Usually, I do one year, at the end of the year we’re currently in,” she said. “Since the completion date wasn’t until December ’14, if they run into issues and I don’t extend it to ’15 and they don’t complete, then they won’t be in compliance.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the abatement.

Jack Slusser, R-at large, is in favor of tax abatements.

“They employ 700 people and for us to give anybody an abatement, if we’re going to give it to one to salvage jobs, then we have to give it to everybody,” he said. “United Technologies is no different than somebody who hires 50 people.”

Slusser added the city is not losing anything by approving an abatement and the city starts getting something back the next year.

“I think it’s each individual community’s responsibility to someway keep that company in our town,” he said. “If that’s what it takes, I’m for it.”