CANTON — Stark County commissioners have added one of the finishing touches to what is considered a key component of the Navarre area’s economic future.
The board on Wednesday approved a 10-year, 60-percent property tax abatement for Hendrickson USA for its planned manufacturing facility at the former county farm in Navarre. The project is expected to add at least 100 jobs and as many as 300.
Hendrickson USA, is based in Woodbridge, Ill. Its subsidiary, Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems, is based at its Canton research and development facility, and makes components related to commercial trailer and truck suspensions.
The new manufacturing site will be at 4500 Sterilite St. NE. Navarre Village Council approved the tax abatement agreement with the company on Monday.
Hendrickson’s property tax bill for the 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be reduced by 60 percent based on its eventual valuation for a decade. That means entities like Stark County, Navarre and Perry Local School District will for 10 years receive 60 percent less in tax revenue based on the assessed land and building value after the new complex is constructed.
The former county farm site is in a state-designated enterprise zone, approved by county commissioners and Navarre in 1998, that allows the county and Navarre to grant tax breaks to companies that agree to build new locations in the zone. Randy Hunt, Hendrickson’s attorney, told commissioners that construction of the facility, which will be near an intermodal rail terminal, will begin by the end of April.
“Thank you for investing in Stark County,” Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula told him. “I know that the county farm has been talked about being developed for I don’t know, 50 years.”
He expressed hope that the new facility would spark more development and spur businesses in the area to agree to a share of additional property tax revenue helping to finance local road improvements and the extension of the U.S. Route 30 expressway eastward to Columbiana County.
Kenneth Sukosd, Hendrickson’s division manager of manufacturing engineering, told the commissioners, “We’re absolutely convinced this is the right place to build a plant for a lot of reasons. And for sure, we know we’ll get the hard-working, dedicated workforce that we need.”
To get the abatement, Hendrickson executives had to agree to spend at least $19.5 million on the new facility; spend at least $30.5 million on machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures and inventory for its new complex; create 100 to 300 new full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $3.04 million to $9.11 million by 2023. Hendrickson is expected to retain its $22.9 million of existing local payroll, which covers about 225 current employees in the area who work mainly in research and development.
The new jobs would generate Navarre an additional $45,552 to $136,656 a year. The village has a 1.5 percent income tax. Navarre annexed 165 acres of the county farm property from Perry Township in 2007.
The company will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted is expected to attend, said Ray Hexamer, president of the Stark County Development Board.
If Hendrickson doesn’t generate or retain at least 75 jobs at the new facility over a three-year period, the company would lose the tax break and have to pay any taxes that it was exempted from paying during that period, according to the deal.
The company has also received a 1.273-percent nine-year Job Creation Tax Credit from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, contingent on the company maintaining operations at its current Stark County location for at least 12 years, authority officials. The company will also be exempt from paying local and state sales taxes on construction materials for the 4500 Sterilite St. NE site through financing provided through the Stark County Port Authority.
Frank Hezoucky, project manager of industrial engineering for Hendrickson, told the Stark County Port Authority board at a public meeting late last month that the company considered at least six other locations, several outside Ohio, for its new facility. The new jobs will include entry-level manufacturing positions along with technical and professional positions.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or email@example.com.
On Twitter: @rwangREP