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|03-25-03: Coldwater board retains business tax breaks
|By TIMOTHY COX
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
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
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
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,"
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.
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