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AUSTINTOWN Snyder's seeks tax breaks for Tamco center



Published: Tue, September 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Minnesota company still says it plans to hire former Tamco workers if it buys the warehouse.

By DON SHILLING

VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR

AUSTINTOWN -- Snyder's Drug Stores is negotiating tax breaks for the Tamco distribution center even though it hasn't committed to buying the Austintown warehouse.

A proposed tax abatement deal is to be submitted to township trustees Sept. 18, said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Chamber officials, who handle economic development issues for Mahoning and Trumbull counties, are proposing an abatement of taxes for Snyder's investment in equipment and inventory. Company officials are talking to state officials about state tax breaks, Dulberger said.

Any deal would have to be approved by township trustees and county commissioners and also would be contingent on Snyder's officials deciding they want to use the warehouse.

Snyder's, a Minnesota-based drugstore chain, has been considering buying the warehouse since it was closed by Phar-Mor in July. About 250 workers lost their jobs.

Giant Eagle, a Pittsburgh-based grocery chain, owns the warehouse but doesn't plan on using it for its operations.

Snyder's officials could not be reached.

Company's choices

Bob Bernat, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown, said Snyder's is choosing between Tamco and a warehouse in Kansas City.

The union, which represented Phar-Mor's Tamco workers, had reached a contract with Snyder's earlier this year but that was to take effect only if Snyder's succeeded in buying Tamco and some Phar-Mor stores in bankruptcy court.

When Snyder's failed to do that, it began considering other options.

Bernat said previously that Snyder's was pushing for concessions from the union so it could move quickly to buy Tamco. He said Monday, however, that the company is not rushing, and there are no contract negotiations between the two.

"They are able to switch their deadlines when they want to. I'm not overly concerned about that they're being slow," he said.

Part of the reason for the delay is probably over seeking the tax abatements, he said.

Company officials have told him they will hire former Tamco workers and negotiate with the union if they reopen the Austintown warehouse.

"That's the best I can do for now," he said.

Liquidation companies that bought the inventory of Phar-Mor's stores are holding sales before the stores are closed. Phar-Mor is going out of business because it didn't have the money to emerge from bankruptcy court protection.

shilling@vindy.com




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