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AUSTINTOWN



Published: Thu, September 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



AUSTINTOWN

Snyder'sseeking tax break

Tamco is one of three sites that Snyder's may use as a distribution center.

By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- Snyder's Drug Stores has unveiled a proposal calling for the Tamco distribution center to open Nov. 15 with about 150 full-time employees.

Doug Hamlin, chief accounting officer, said Snyder's is thinking about starting to hire workers for the warehouse in October. Snyder's would give preference to applicants who worked at Tamco when it was operated by Phar-Mor.

"We think Youngstown and Austintown have very hard workers that had some bad luck," Hamlin told Austintown trustees Wednesday night. "Maybe it's time for some good luck."

Hamlin asked trustees for a 10-year, 60-percent abatement on $8 million in inventory it would bring to Tamco. The trustees unanimously approved the abatement. Mahoning County commissioners were expected to vote on the abatement today.

Hamlin said Snyder's will decide plans for Tamco in the next two or three weeks.

The Victoria Road warehouse is one of three sites Snyder's is considering for a distribution center. The others are in Kansas City and near Detroit.

"The tax abatements and incentives we would receive are critical," Hamlin said. When asked about the company's proposals for Kansas City and the Detroit area, Hamlin said, "right now, we've got it all on the table."

Union connection

Snyder's, a Minnesota-based drugstore chain, has considered using the local warehouse since it was closed by Phar-Mor in July, idling about 250 workers represented by the Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown.

Danny Thomas, an Austintown resident who worked at Tamco for 26 years, said he doesn't think the union had a contract with Snyder's, but he's impressed with the proposal.

"I'm anxious to see what's going to happen," he said.

Giant Eagle, a Pittsburgh-based grocery chain, owns the warehouse but doesn't plan on using it. Hamlin said Snyder's wouldn't have any major problems leasing Tamco from Giant Eagle.

Township Trustee David Ditzler said he appreciates that Snyder's has worked hard for the opportunity to run the warehouse. Trustee Bo Pritchard thinks Snyder's should consider opening drugstores in the area.

"We think there are some good areas. We will continue to investigate that," Hamlin said. "Right now we have decided to set our sights on a warehouse."

hill@vindy.com




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