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03-25-03: Coldwater board retains business tax breaks
The Daily Standard
    COLDWATER - Four local companies are maintaining their investment and employment promises they made as part of tax abatement agreements despite tough economic times.
    A Coldwater Tax Incentive Review board on Monday recommended continuation of all existing agreements with no changes to any of the tax relief pacts. Abatement agreements for Relizon Co., Coldwater Machine Co., Accutech Films Inc. and DeRuiter International USA were reviewed by the board made up of village and county officials.
    Board members and representatives of the company talked as much about the state of the economy as they did about the abatements.
    Company officials of Relizon and Coldwater Machine predicted flat growth for the year at their respective businesses.
    "It's been rather tough on our particular niche," Coldwater Machine President Jerry Meyer said, adding that company officials plan to maintain existing employment levels for the foreseeable future.
    The company has added some new equipment to offset declines in other parts of business, Meyer said.
    "In terms of head count, we'll be flat for the year, simply because of the economy," said Tom Ording, a Relizon corporate executive based at the company's Dayton headquarters.
    Relizon is in the first year of a 10-year tax abatement it struck last summer to move its operations out of the Reynolds & Reynolds Co. complex in Celina and into a renovated portion of the former AGCO Corp. building in Coldwater. The company already has reached its commitment to invest $4 million in real estate and equipment and to retain 220 existing jobs and create 25 new ones.
    There are 258 people on staff now, Ording said.
    Relizon recently added a $600,000 check-printing machine and will be moving people around within the plant to adjust to fluctuations in different parts of the company's business, Ording said.
    The economy also has delayed a planned expansion at Accutech, company Controller Harry Homan said. The company's plans have experienced "a hiccup" due to uncertainty about oil prices, which affect the company's costs to manufacture plastic bags and shrink wrap.
    "We've kind of backed off a little bit," Homan said.
    Despite that uncertainty, Accutech has met the terms of four existing tax abatements.
    Board members also agreed to continue an abatement for DeRuijter at reduced terms that were put into place two years ago.
    DeRuijter Vice President and General Manager Linda Garke reported the company is moving closer to compliance with its employment promises. The company has four full-time and three part-time workers with a payroll of $120,000. The company agreed in its abatement pact to create eight full-time jobs with a payroll of at least $210,000.
    But board members were pleased to hear the situation at DeRuijter, which processes raw rubber products, is improving. Two years ago, board members reduced the tax abatement terms by 50 percent because the company had fallen short of its goals.
    "After some tough years, we're going in the right direction," Garke said.
    The company has far exceeded the investment portion of its tax abatement promise. DeRuijter had agreed to invest $600,000 but has actually bought $677,000 in new equipment and machinery, Garke said.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822