Thursday, April 24, 2014

Business seeking tax abatement after fire relocates it to industrial park

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/15/2013

Astro Truck Covers Inc., which relocated to Ottawa after a Feb. 8, 2011, fire burned part of its facility in Garnett, is seeking a 10-year tax abatement to help facilitate its relocation and growth in Ottawa, city officials have said.

The Ottawa City Commission has scheduled a public hearing 7 p.m. April 3 to consider the proposed 10-year tax abatement.

Astro Truck Covers Inc., which relocated to Ottawa after a Feb. 8, 2011, fire burned part of its facility in Garnett, is seeking a 10-year tax abatement to help facilitate its relocation and growth in Ottawa, city officials have said.

The Ottawa City Commission has scheduled a public hearing 7 p.m. April 3 to consider the proposed 10-year tax abatement.

Under the 65-percent tax abatement plan, Astro Truck Covers agreed to participate in a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program that would direct about 12 percent of the abatement into the Franklin County Development Council’s coffers to enhance future economic development and job creation, Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, said.

“It would result in a net abatement of about 53 percent,” over the life of the 10-year abatement period, Bird said.

The city’s administrative review committee — comprised of representatives of the city, county, school district and Franklin County Development Council — approved the abatement proposal, Jeff Seymour, executive director of the FCDC, told school board members last week.

Seymour said Astro Truck Covers, 801 E. North St., Ottawa, is requesting a 100-percent tax abatement for the first two years of its 10-year plan to help its cash flow as the company continues to recover from the Garnett fire.

Astro Truck Covers produces truck lids and caps, bed systems and other accessories, according to its website.

The company employs about 45 to 50 workers, Seymour said, and plans to expand its workforce to 65 employees in the next five years and 90 employees in the next 10 years.

The city recently adopted a similar 10-year tax abatement plan for Monoflo International. Monoflo in August 2012 acquired the former Kennel-Aire LLC facility, 1550 N. Davis Ave., Ottawa. The Winchester, Va.-based company plans to open its Ottawa operation during the first quarter of 2013 in the city’s industrial park. Monoflo has said it expects to hire as many as 65 workers for the Ottawa plant.

The company sought the abatement to help the company defray some of its start-up costs, city officials said. Monoflo also agreed to contribute to the PILOT program, resulting in a net tax abatement of about 55 percent.

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