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Lordstown approves tax abatement for new business

LORDSTOWN — Village council and the Lordstown Board of Education both at special meetings on Monday gave their approval for a 75 percent, 15-year tax abatement for a new container manufacturing business planning to open in the village next year.

M&M Industries of Chattanooga, Tenn., is seeking the tax abatement for the company to locate at the former Magna Seating Systems property at 1702 Henn Parkway, an 81,000-square-foot property that closed in 2018.

Glenn Morris, president / CEO, told village council the company has been in business for more than 30 years, with three operations — two in Chattanooga and one in Phoenix.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be able to further our company to grow in the Lordstown community. We look forward to being good neighbors,” Morris said.

Morris said from his visits to Lordstown he sees it is a community with hardworking people.

“They have made us feel like we are part of the family. We want to make people’s lives better by providing more than 100 jobs in the next five years,” he said.

Morris said plans are to be operating between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July next year.

He said over the next five years, the company forecasts more than 100 jobs, including machine and operator, production and shipping jobs, and management and supervisor positions. Morris said the company manufactures containers for chemicals and pharmaceutical products, which are shipped around the world. He said containers are for both hazardous and non-hazardous solids and liquids.

Plans also are for a $30 million investment in the building and expansion of the building in addition to machinery and equipment, officials said.

Morris said the company has been looking at growing in the Upper Midwest.

Village council voted 5-1 on the tax abatement, with councilman Robert Bond casting the “no” vote.

Bond said he can see where plastic industries is going to boom in the area.

“I am voting against the abatement, feeling we would be better served in giving lower abatements. Our main competition in a lot of this is Jackson Township, which gives no abatements,” Bond said.

Solicitor Paul Dutton said while the village council and village school board have both approved the abatement, the Trumbull Career Technical Center board also is expected to act upon at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“It is not effective until we have a companion resolution from the Trumbull Career and Technical Center. They are another school district that services Lordstown,” Dutton said.

Mayor Arno Hill said these new companies are steps in the right direction to replenish the jobs vacated by the closing of the General Motors assembly plant.

Council President Ron Radtka said the village is thrilled with having another business locate here.

“When General Motors did close in 2018, that was a big hit to our local economy and many people had to relocate. That had a big impact on the finances of the village. We have Old Dominion Trucking and the Ultium battery plant and now with the interest from M&M, we are starting to get a spark back in the community with these three projects. We are glad to have the opportunity with them, and hope there are more companies coming our way,” Radtka said.

Lordstown School Superintendent Greg Bonamase said the board of education voted 5-0 in support of the abatement.

“We are very excited for the company and look forward to working with them,” he said.

School board members asked about apprenticeships or internship opportunities for local students.

Sarah Boyarko, the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber’s chief operating officer and senior vice president, economic development, said the chamber is happy to bring a new business to the Mahoning Valley.

“We are excited about the opportunity and pleased the school board and council see the value in supporting the company’s investment. We want to secure jobs and future opportunities here,” she said.

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