Council to consider Exal Corp. expansion

By David Skolnick


City council will consider legislation Wednesday that would help move forward a $1.4 million expansion project for Exal Corp.

Exal wants to build a 10,689-square-foot expansion to its current structure at the city’s Performance Place Business Park on Poland Avenue.

The company has about 300,000 square feet with about 400 employees at that location, said city Finance Director David Bozanich. This expansion would add 25 more workers.

The company makes aluminum cans and bottles for major companies including Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline [Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpastes].

On Wednesday, council will consider legislation authorizing the city’s board of control to waive the cost of building permits and water and sewer tap-in fees. The waiver would save Exal about $10,000, Bozanich said.

A 10-year, 75-percent tax abatement request, which would save Exal about $10,000 annually, will be in front of council in the near future, Bozanich said.

The expansion should start early next year and take six to eight months to be completed, he said.

Meanwhile, the company still is considering the construction of a $400 million project in the city’s Salt Springs Road Business Park. The project’s been on the table for more than two years.

The project, to be done in three phases over about three to four years, would install two new production lines, and add 300 jobs when it’s fully complete, Bozanich said.

Attempts Monday by The Vindicator to contact Exal officials were unsuccessful.

Delfin Gibert, the company’s president, said in February he was confident the project would occur.

In November 2008, the city received $4.3 million from the state to improve a 61-acre site at Salt Springs for Exal.

That money was used to purchase the property for $1.4 million from LaFarge North America Inc., which used it to mine slag, as well as to make major site improvements and install water, sewer, gas and electric lines. The work is done.

Though optimistic the deal with Exal will work out, Bozanich said if that project doesn’t go through, the city has other options for the land.

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