Trustees also are putting out a call for paving bids.
By TRACIE KNIGHT BALENTINE
HOWLAND -- Township trustees have approved a tax abatement for a company promising to bring up to 60 new jobs to its Howland facility.
Ajax Magnethermic Corp., 1745 Overland Ave. N.E., plans to transfer equipment and inventory from its closing Kentucky plant.
The township stands to gain an additional $294,075 in tax revenue from Ajax, even with a 60-percent tax abatement.
Darlene St. George, township administrator, said the company transferred jobs out of the area about 20 years ago to the Kentucky plant.
Looking ahead: Steve Srnich, vice president of manufacturing, said the local Howland plant has been underutilized. The plant employs 217 workers. Srnich said the company plans to add 40 to 50 manufacturing jobs and five to 10 professional salaried positions within the next two to three months. "It depends on the economy. If it continues to go up, we anticipate even more jobs."
The company is also in the process of being sold.
Srnich said the principals interested in the purchase are Ohio investment banking groups. He assured trustees that the companies buying Ajax would be looking to maintain business plans.
The tax abatement is for 10 years, but will be reviewed annually. It only applies to increased inventory and machinery and not the current $31,273 worth of annual property tax.
Trustee Rick Clark said the township has only six other active tax abatements. The potential jobs were the deciding factor in approving the abatement, he said.
About the company: Ajax Magnethermic designs and manufactures induction heating and melting equipment. It calls its local facility its world headquarters, with other sales offices or affiliates in nine other countries.
Srnich said the company has been in business in the area at least since the 1950s.
The local facility was called Magnethermic Corporation until 1955, when it merged with Ajax Furnace Co., a firm dating to the late 1800s.
Also on agenda: In other business, trustees authorized the clerk to advertise for paving bids.
They also reviewed a letter from the Ohio Department of Transportation saying the flasher light between traffic signals at Lowe's and Home Depot on state Route 46 will be changed to a regular traffic light upon completion of the development at that site.
Trustees approved mosquito spraying at least once per month through September and maybe once more if necessary.
They announced that the bridge on old state Route 82 over Mosquito Creek will be closed in 2003 for up to six months for construction of a new span.