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Business

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Tax abatements on table
Two local requests for tax abatements will be presented to the Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday:
•GCG Industries Inc. plans to invest $223,900 in manufacturing equipment and create two new machinist jobs that will pay $25,000 a year. GCG now employs 25.
The orthopedics industry supplier, 4636 Newaygo Road, is buying a CNC – or computer numerical controlled – machine. Estimated tax savings on the investment are $9,177.
•Midwest Salt of Fort Wayne, a startup, plans to buy a $350,000 building at 4528 Hillegas Road, invest $40,000 in renovations and create six jobs, including general manager, sales and material handling.
The property will be used for warehousing, distribution and some retail sales of salt for ice melt, water softener and agricultural applications.
If approved, Midwest salt would save property taxes for one year for moving into a building that has been vacant for at least 12 months.

Recycler scouts 2nd location

Waterloo operation studies 3 sites that would mean 46 jobs

Auburn is in the mix.

MetalX, the Waterloo-based metal recycling company founded late last year by Danny Rifkin, is considering three possible sites for a second operation that’s expected to create 46 new jobs in the next three years.

The startup investment is estimated at $7.75 million.

Ken McCrory, executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, confirmed Wednesday that Auburn’s vacant Alcoa building at 1101 Oren Drive is one of the locations being reviewed.

“This is not a done deal,” McCrory stressed.

Rifkin and other MetalX officials attended an Auburn planning commission meeting Tuesday evening to make their case for tax abatement on the project. Other sites under consideration include at least one from out of state, the economic development official said.

After gathering and comparing local and state tax breaks, training grants and other incentives, company officials will plug then into a spreadsheet and compare costs, McCrory said.

“That’s the business part of it, and you can’t blame them,” he said. “These are going to be very, very expensive pieces of equipment.”

The new operation will hire machine operators to shred and strip junked vehicles and other metal items, McCrory said.

Before MetalX opened its Waterloo complex at 295 S. Commerce Drive, officials said pay would average more than $40,000 a year for varied positions, including general labor and heavy-equipment operators.

Rifkin is a member of the family that sold OmniSource Corp. to Steel Dynamics Inc. for $1.1 billion in 2007. The Rifkins owned and operated OmniSource for more than 60 years.

MetalX processes scrap into a form that can be re-melted by foundries and steel mills. Materials come from three sources. The general public can cash in metal, including aluminum cans. MetalX also buys scrap from industrial sources, such as factories, and from wholesale suppliers, including auto parts dealers and wreckers.

sslater@jg.net

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