Scotts declines abatement on expansion


Monday was “a wonderful night” for Marysville, said City Manager Terry Emery.
“We got a lot of good news in one meeting,” Council Member Mark Reams said.
The good news came as city leaders officially welcomed Alcorta Forging Group to the Marysville 33 Innovation Park.
Additionally, Scotts Miracle-Gro officials told council that the company would be moving forward with a nearly $45 million expansion project, though it would not be asking the city for tax incentives to make it happen.
Ann Aquillo, with Scotts Miracle-Gro, said the city and the company have been working on the expansion plan and tax incentives for a significant amount of time. She said officials were ready to move forward with an agreement that would have provided a 75% property tax abatement for 10 years on a portion of the project.
“We realized a lot has changed since January,” Aquillo said. “The world is a very different place.”
She said that while many businesses have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, has prospered. She said that as people are at home more, they have paid more attention to their lawns and gardens. She said Scotts “has been extremely blessed” with increased sales.
“We thought, ‘Maybe this isn’t the right time to ask for assistance, at least not in the way we had anticipated,’” Aquillo said.
Mayor Henk Berbee said it is “remarkable” how the 151-year-old organization, founded in Marysville, has “turned into a world-wide company.”
“Thank you for your decision,” Berbee said.
Council member Alan Seymour said the city is “very fortunate and appreciative” for Scotts.
Berbee drew a parallel between Scotts and Alcorta which is more than 100 years old.
Alcorta will build a 150,000-square-foot forging and manufacturing facility on 12 acres of land in the Marysville 33 Innovation Park. The company will have the option to purchase an adjoining 10 acres for expansion. The price for the land increases the longer the company waits to purchase it.
The company will create about 50 new jobs initially, but could increase to more than 90 over the next decade.
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said the Community Improvement Corporation has already approved the agreement. Under the purchase agreement, Alcorta will pay $35,000 per acre. The company will receive a 75% abatement on the property tax for the next 10 years. The company also has an option to purchase additional ground in Innovation Park
“We are excited about this,” said Paul Bore, vice-president of operations for Alcorta. “We still see plenty of opportunity. We want to spend another 100 years of prosperity.”
Eugenio Calle, business unit manager for Alcorta, said that when the company settles in a location, “we stay in a location.”
The mayor said the company, “is going to fit right in here.”
Council member J.R. Rausch said nearly half the employees in the community work for a foreign company.
Bore said company officials explored a variety of sites around the Midwest. He said Marysville’s energy, “made it really difficult for us to say ‘No.’”
Deb Scherer, with JobsOhio, said the project “should be the model” for how state, county and local officials can come together to attract development.
Berbee asked how the city could help the company moving forward. City officials said they are “trying to expedite this as much as possible.” The city eliminated a third reading of legislation to approve the agreement. Alcorta will present the physical building to the city’s Design Review Board in August.
The company has said it will move forward with pre-construction activities, but given the “current uncertain circumstances” will remain on hold for the actual construction.
“We just want to make sure we do the right thing for our company, that we do the right thing for the city of Marysville,” Bore said.
Seymour thanked the company for “putting your future in the City of Marysville.”
“I think all of us on city council can assure you that the City of Marysville won’t let you down,” Seymour said.
In other news:
Emery said the Marysville Outdoor Refreshment Area (MORA) has been, “extremely successful.” The MORA has been in place each Friday this month. He said the response from police, citizens and businesses has been “very positive.”
Emery said it continue to be active from 4-10 p.m. each Friday in July. Additionally, beginning Saturday, July 11, the MORA will be active from 2-10 p.m. on Saturdays in July.
“We will continue to monitor these MORA activities as we move forward week to week,” Emery said.
Due to social distancing requirements in relation to group gatherings, City Council meetings in July will be held at the Union County Veteran’s Auditorium, 233 W. Sixth Street, Marysville.
Mill Valley Park Central playground will be closed for construction beginning July 22. Officials hope to have the park reopened in mid-August. A portion of the Eljer Park playground will be closed for construction beginning Aug.3. Officials hope to have the playground reopened by the end of August.
Emery reminded residents that income tax filings are due July 15. He said income tax filings can be made in person at City Hall or by email, 
Those with questions are asked to call the Income Tax Division at (937) 644-7350, option 4.

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