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12-24-02: St. Marys business gets year to make good on promises
The Daily Standard
    ST. MARYS - Setex, one of the cornerstones of the city of St. Marysı industrial park on McKinley Road, apparently will get an additional year to fulfill investment promises it made in a tax abatement agreement signed in 2001.
    The good news, city officials said, is that the company has far exceeded its job creation commitment and is expected to add even mor  jobs as the expansion is completed next year. City council members meeting Monday approved the modification to the tax relief package through an emergency ordinance. Auglaize County Commissioners must also approve the change and are to consider the issue this week.
    The deadline for completion of Setexıs nearly $40 million expansion was to have been completed Dec. 31. The company, located at 1111 McKinley Road, makes seats for the automotive industry, including Honda. Original abatement
    The original tax abatement forgave 75 percent of real estate taxes and 50 percent of personal property taxes, both for 10 years. The company still has about $7 million to spend for new equipment to reach is original $39.9 million plan, Safety-Service Director Mike Weadock said.
    The additional year does not affect the amount of taxes forgiven. ³We donıt abate taxes on anything until it exists,² Weadock said.
    The real estate portion of the abatement is not affected by the change. Tax relief for that portion of the project began when the land was developed.
    Despite the companyıs slower-than-expected investment, city officials are thrilled with the job creation part of the deal. Setex already has exceeded its original agreement to create new jobs by 30 percent in far less than the three years it was given to do so. The cityıs main benefit from tax abatements is the income taxes generated from new jobs.
    The company promised 100 jobs and has delivered 130 new jobs, Weadock said. The company employs about 500 and is expected to add more workers when the additional equipment is added.
    In other business Monday, council members: Cable television
    - Passed final reading of an ordinance granting a franchise agreement to TSC Communi-cations Inc., Wapakoneta, to build a cable television system within the city.
    - Passed second reading of the 2003 appropriations ordinance. The appropriations include $4.6 million in general fund revenue and $40,784,628 for all funds.
    - Passed second reading of an ordinance identifying materials and equipment for all city departments that Weadock is allowed to buy next year without prior approval. Bids must still be sought for items that cost more than $15,000.
    - Passed, as an emergency after one prior reading, an ordinance to buy a small lot, located on Spring Street adjacent to Sherwin-Williams Co., for $11,200 from Amanda Hook. The parcel is to be used to create an entrance to the Chestnut Street parking lot from Spring Street.


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