PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Common Council on Monday took the initial step in approving a tax abatement for a staple of Marshall County manufacturing – the second time in a little over a year the council has considered this.

The council approved a resolution creating an economic revitalization area for city manufacturer Bomarko, 1955 N. Oak Drive.

In October 2018, the council previously approved a 10-year tax abatement for the construction of a new building on the company’s property.

This time the tax abatement covers an existing building.

The current resolution, just as with the previous resolution, is again for 10 years and a 100-percent tax abatement for the improvements.

Jennifer Hewitt, Bomarko controller, told the council the original plans became untenable due to issues with the proposed site.

Instead of a new building, she said, the company will buy an existing building on adjacent property at 2400 Walter Glaub Drive.

The company expects to spend about $2 million for the property and another $4 million for new equipment, according to paperwork filed with the city.

Back in October 2018, Hewitt said the company employs about 120 and the planned expansion would add 20 new positions. The company’s average hourly wage is $27, according to its application. It wasn’t clear, however, if that hourly wage estimate includes benefits.

Bomarko, a Plymouth fixture for 56 years, makes flexible packaging.

Jerry Chavez, president and CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Corp., spoke in favor of the abatement at the council’s Monday meeting.

“This locally grown company has grown from producing one product, rolls of waxed paper to separate hamburger patties, into a leading producer of coated printed packaging,” Chavez writes in a letter of support sent to Mayor Mark Senter and the council. “This project consists of 98,000 square feet of manufacturing space renovation and the installation of (a) new printing press, slitter and auxiliary equipment.

“This expansion is estimated to include about 20 new jobs and retain 120 jobs,” he continues. “This application was originally approved on October 22, 2018. Due to site development constraints, Bomarko decided it was necessary to secure the vacant site at 2400 Walter Glaub (Drive) … to allow them to move forward with their intended investment.”

Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi said the tax abatement granted last year for Bomarko will be rescinded, since the company’s plans for the new building have been scuttled.

There will be a public hearing on this proposed, new tax abatement at the council’s next meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. – or immediately following the city’s board of works meeting – Monday, Dec. 23, at Plymouth City Hall.

After the public hearing the council is expected to vote on a resolution confirming the tax abatement.

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