Youngstown council OKs loan for Gasser Chair expansion

By David Skolnick


City council agreed to let a chair company planning an expansion borrow up to $923,700 from the city.

“I think it’s a great project and big news for the city,” said Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd and chairman of the finance committee.

Gasser Chair Co. Inc., a 70-year-old company, is planning an expansion project at its 75,000-square-foot warehouse facility at 2559 Logan Way.

It plans to relocate a manufacturing facility in Holmes County to its Youngstown headquarters, and add 25 jobs here. The company makes chairs for casinos, restaurants and hotels.

The company can borrow the money for up to 18 months at 0.25 percent interest as long as the loan is guaranteed by an irrevocable letter of credit from a lending institution.

The city also is giving $50,000 to Gasser for water and wastewater improvements.

The board of control has to approve the loan and the grant for them to be finalized.

Council also agreed to spend $60,357 on 1,160 additional trash carts – to go with the 22,000 it initially purchased – for the city-run residential garbage program. The purchase includes 2,000 extra wheels for the bins at a cost of about $5,000.

The city administration originally wanted to buy 2,386 extra bins, but council members balked at it, questioning if that many were needed.

City council agreed Oct. 19 to spend $180,500 on a 3-year-old garbage truck to go along with the eight trucks it has.

With these additional purchases, the city has spent $2,125,204 on its garbage program, about $1 million less than the least-expensive proposal it received from private companies to handle the collection.

Council also authorized the board of control to give a tax abatement to a company that is investing $20 million in a location on the East Side for its self-chilling beverage can operations.

Joseph Co. International is getting a 75-percent, 10-year real-property tax abatement.

The abatement will save the company an estimated $313,142 in taxes over 10 years with Joseph Co. paying $86,841 during that time.

The company already has received a $1.5 million grant from the city and plans to be in full operation by 2018 with 50 employees.

Within three years of operating, Joseph Co. plans to have about 257 employees.

The business will be bounded by Oak Street, North Fruit Street, Himrod Avenue and the Madison Avenue Expressway. The area was a largely vacant East Side neighborhood with nearly every property owner in that location having sold to the city.

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