General Broach given tax abatement 9.24

Written by David Green.

A standard 12-year tax abatement was approved Monday for Morenci’s General Broach Company, although the decision wasn’t completed without some discussion on the issue of tax breaks.

Mark Miller and Larry Stover of General Broach explained the need for new equipment during a public hearing at the city council hearing.

A few years ago, Miller said, about 90 percent of the company’s business was related to the automotive industry. Today, about 85 percent of the cutting tools they produce are for use in the aerospace industry.

Stover said the company is not only changing the focus of its work, but it’s also broadening its horizons with contracts from other countries.

Former planning commission member Gary Valentine stated that granting an abatement doesn’t guarantee that a company will remain in town, even though a business may threaten to leave if an abatement isn’t granted. When he was a commissioner, an abatement was approved for Morenci Engineered Rubber Products, he said, and the company was gone within a year.

“Sometimes we need to watch what we’re doing here because it will be with us for a long time,” Valentine said.

He asked what an abatement on $852,000 equates to in lost taxes, but neither General Broach nor city officials had an answer.

Stover was asked about job creation and he noted the company employed 45 workers five years ago. The current level is at 74. There was very rapid growth and much slower growth currently.

Additional overseas contracts would increase job needs, he said, as would new ventures such as creating broaches to serve the rapidly growing wind energy industry.

Granting abatements, said councilor Keith Pennington, shows the city’s support for an industry, and the 50 percent of taxes still paid is better than none at all.

A tax break not only helps a company stay in town, said mayor Doug Erskin, but it allows the company to explore other development.

“We want to progress,” he said. “If we limit them, no progression is made.”

Pennington added that attention is often focused on bringing in new companies, but council can’t minimize what’s already here providing jobs.

“We’re here to stay, believe me,” Stover said.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017