County commissioners are expected to discuss the request next week.
THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LORDSTOWN -- Council members unanimously approved a 10-year 75 percent tax abatement for Taylor Steel, which plans to expand in the village and relocate other workers and equipment.
Tuesday's approval by council allows the company to petition Trumbull County commissioners to approve the agreement.
Commissioners are expected to hear the matter at next week's meeting.
Taylor Steel's parent company in Canada requested the tax abatement from Lordstown council on a proposed $12.7 million expansion and the relocation of its operations in Niles.
Expiring this year
The Niles plant already has a 10-year 100 percent abatement that expires this year.
The move from Niles to Lordstown, and the request for a second tax abatement, has Niles officials upset.
Although it's not illegal for the company to request a second abatement, Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante has written a letter to commissioners outlining his concerns and disapproval.
His biggest complaints rest on the fact that Taylor Steel has already been forgiven more than $1.4 million in taxes on its current abatement and that the Niles shop, which is union, will be closed and workers will relocate to the Lordstown site, which is nonunion.
"I believe the wages they earn here are on par or higher than what they are in Niles," Mayor Arno Hill said.
Lordstown Councilman William Dray said he also understood Taylor Steel planned to close the Niles facility regardless of whether the abatement was approved in Lordstown.
Company representatives told members of both councils the Niles building is dilapidated and is for sale.
Hill also noted that board of education members are also in favor of the abatement. State law requires that any abatement more than 75 percent be approved by the affected board of education.
Although it was not necessary in this case, Arno said company officials met with board of education representatives.
"They're very supportive of this also," Hill said.