Niles officials wrote a letter to commissioners expressing their concerns about the move.
THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LORDSTOWN -- Council members here plan to allow a 75 percent, 10-year tax abatement for a local company to relocate some of its operations from Niles.
Taylor Steel, which operates in Niles and Lordstown, requested the abatement from Lordstown to relocate from Niles, as well as to expand its operations in the village. The abatement would affect a 120,000-square-foot addition to the west side of the building in Lordstown's Hayes Industrial Park, said village Councilman Richard Biggs.
Under the agreement, Taylor Steel also promises to add 25 to 30 full-time jobs in the next five years. The expansion is in addition to the relocation of the Niles work force and machinery.
The company plans to have the construction done and everything operational by January. Biggs said Taylor Steel's parent company in Canada is making the move because the company picked up more work from the General Motors Lordstown plant.
Last week, Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante sent a letter to Trumbull County commissioners opposing the request, since Taylor Steel will make the move after a 100 percent, 10-year tax abatement in the city expires later this year. Infante said in the letter that during the past 10 years, the city, the board of education and the county forgave more than $760,000 in personal property taxes and more than $706,000 in real estate taxes.
Infante was also concerned what might happen to the Niles workers, who are union employees. The Lordstown facility is a nonunion shop.
Lordstown council members, who plan to introduce legislation for the agreement at Tuesday's meeting, did not immediately have the amount of taxes that would be forgiven under the new agreement. Biggs said, however, that Taylor Steel already has an $18 million investment in its operations in the village and that the expansion and relocation would mean an additional $12.7 million investment.
If Lordstown council approves the matter, Trumbull County commissioners would hear it at their Sept. 11 meeting. Infante and several Niles council members say they plan to attend that meeting to voice their concerns.
Because the proposed abatement is for 75 percent, the Lordstown Board of Education did not need to approve the matter, but has already granted its blessing, Biggs said.
"Nobody loses work; we get a big expansion; life is good," Biggs said.