Royal Chemical tax break to result in 120 new jobs

Ken Lahmers
Correspondent
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MACEDONIA – In anticipation of Royal Chemical Co. proposing to add 120 new jobs within the next eight years, City Council approved a Macedonia Occupancy and Jobs Creation Program agreement with the firm at its Nov. 12 session.

The company on South Freeway Drive has a current payroll of about $3.9 million, and plans to increase that by $1.5 million by Aug. 31, 2028. The agreement results in the firm getting a break of up to $18,750 a year on income taxes it pays to the city.

“With many companies struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s refreshing to know Royal will remain in town and expand,” said Mayor Nick Molnar. “The city has been negotiating with the company for some time, and this is a great outcome.”

Meanwhile, the city stands to gain some revenue for future improvements to a handful of roads if Council OKs a proposed Tax Increment Financing agreement with the new CleanLand Car Wash on South Freeway Drive.

TIF arrangements dedicate tax increments within a defined district to finance the debt that is issued to pay for infrastructure projects. CleanLand’s money would go toward work on South Freeway and Bedford drives and Routes 82 and 8.

CleanLand would make service payments to the city in lieu of real estate taxes. The city has several other TIF agreements in place with businesses. The TIF legislation will be on second reading at Council’s Dec. 3 meeting since the regularly scheduled Nov. 26 session has been canceled because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Molnar said CleanLand likely will open by the end of the year.

OTHER BUSINESS

The city’s 2021 appropriations proposal was unveiled, calling for $13.42 million plus $2.46 million in transfers and advances in the general fund and $24.02 million plus $4.1 million, respectively, in all funds.

Finance Director John Veres said the city expects to start 2021 with a $2.7 million balance, and receive $8.9 million from income taxes, $1.78 million from property taxes and $180,000 in Local Government Funds, among other revenue sources.

Council President Jan Tulley said she hopes the full budget will be passed by the end of the year. If it is not, Council could adopt a temporary budget to carry the city through the first few months of 2021.

Council OK’d a contract with the Ohio Government Benefit Cooperative to provide health insurance coverage for city employees in 2021. The plan will cost $1.48 million, which Molnar said is down about 3.1% from 2020. “Our cost had been going up for several years, but this plan will cost us a little less than last year,” he said.

Disposition of two city vehicles – a 2007 Ford Edge and 2013 Ford Explorer – was approved via the Fast Track Auction online site. The Explorer was used to transport the city’s K-9 police officer.

Council also adopted the Summit County/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority’s solid waste management plan, and accepted a factfinder’s report regarding the union contract with police officers and sergeants. The solid waste agency operates the ReWorks program.

Heading to second reading were amendments to the city’s use of tobacco products ordinance and the sign code. The main change in the smoking/vaping ordinance is that the state’s legal age for buying such products is now 21 instead of 18, while Law Director Mark Guidetti said the sign code changes “make it more user friendly.”

Molnar announced the city has received a Quality Award for Asphalt Paving from Flexible Pavements of Ohio for the 2019 Valley View Road project completed by Specialized Construction, and Fire Chief Brian Ripley announced the department will not conduct the Santa Run this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

Parks-Recreation Director Jason Chadock announced the city is conducting a Deck the House holiday lighting contest. Residents can submit a photo of their decorated homes at recreation@macedonia.oh.us by Dec. 15. A Facebook vote will determine the winner.

Veres reported the city has refunded $156,901 in income tax to residents so far this year. Residents are eligible for a 0.25% tax refund for any city income tax paid equal to or greater than 2.5%.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9430, or newsleader@recordpub.com.