Council Puts Support behind Flex-N-Gate Expansion
Monday, January 6, 2020
City council has given the green light for a major tax break for a Windsor manufacturing plant.
Under the city's Business Retention and Expansion Grant program, Flex-N-Gate will not be on the hook for any property tax associated with an addition to the plant to generate more jobs.
Ward 3 councillor Rino Bortolin says the city has protected itself from a "Nemak situation" as rebates won't be handed out until work is completed and approved by city staff.
Last year, Nemak announced it was moving production to Mexico after receiving financial assistance from upper levels of government, but Bortolin says that won't happen with Flex-N-Gate.
"If there aren't any new jobs and you haven't done the construction, you don't get the grant. So in a case like Nemak, they pulled out of the city. So we have to be clear on that that the grants are only given once they have shown that the job creation is there and they've actually built their project."
Bortolin says securing the company's future in downtown Windsor is a no-brainer.
"It's a viable entity right in the core of the city in an operating, functioning industrial park that's in the middle of the city. So we want to keep seeing that. We don't want to see empty buildings. We don't want to see brown field sites sit empty for years and years. This is a win and it's a win across the board for us."
He says the tax break will save the company about $536,000.
"This isn't anything where we're increasing taxes across the rest of the community to give handouts to big corporations. It's not like that at all. People are confused calling it corporate welfare, handouts. This is tax revenue we would have not seen. For them to want to increase and stabilize their plant here, this is only giving them the incentive."
Bortolin adds the deal is in place for the next 10-years and is expected to create 112 additional jobs at the plant which already employs 580 people.
Work on the $3.2-million addition to the building on Ellis St. E. is expected to begin in the near future.
Flex-N-Gate has 57 facilities across the globe including plants in Windsor, Lakeshore and Tecumseh.