Coilplus plans to expand in Plainfield
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org May 7, 2013 10:36PM
Updated: June 9, 2013 6:25AM
JOLIET — Coilplus Illinois is close to getting all of the tax abatements it says it needs to spend $5 million on an expansion in Plainfield.
The expansion would help the company retain 59 jobs and create 26 new ones at its rolled steel processing plant, which is located near the intersection of 143rd Street and Route 30. Coilplus, a division of Mitsubishi Corp., cuts unfinished steel into parts used by the auto industry, office manufacturers and appliance makers. All of the steel is purchased domestically, and the addition would be constructed by union labor, company President Patrick Soris told the Will County Board Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Coilplus — which has nine locations in the United States, two in Mexico and one in Canada — has been very successful in Plainfield for the past 25 years, Soris said. Tax abatements are needed to help the company remain profitable after it spends $5 million on the addition and a possible $6 million for new equipment, he added.
“The first three years (of an expansion) are the challenge,” Soris said. “You have all of the expenses up front.”
Coilplus will pay $226,000 in real estate taxes this year on its existing 150,000-square-foot building, and that won’t change, Soris said. A county abatement will save the company an estimated $4,500 a year for five years on its 76,000-square-foot addition.
The village and the Plainfield School District already have approved real estate tax abatements worth about $35,000 a year for five years. Once the five years is up, Coilplus will pay 100 percent of the real estate taxes owed on the addition.
If everything goes according to plan, Soris said, construction on the new building could start in June.
“We’re here for the long term,” he said of the company’s 30-acre site.
Some finance committee members had qualms about approving the deal because they want a review of the formula used to assess abatements. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, said Republicans on the board had asked two months ago for a review and it still hasn’t happened.
John Greuling, president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, which performs the county’s tax abatement reviews, said he has a meeting scheduled for May 15 to go over the formula with staff from the county board and county executive’s office.
Greuling said he would not accept any more abatement requests until the county board had a chance to review the formula being used.
Some board members are concerned that the county is giving tax abatements to companies that don’t need them to locate or expand here.
“There are a lot of attractive things about Will County,” said Republican Caucus Chairman Jim Moustis of Frankfort Township. “We don’t have to give everybody an abatement.”
Companies locate in Will County because of its rail and barge access, he added.
After a lengthy debate, the committee decided to OK the Coilplus request because it would bring good-paying manufacturing jobs to the area. The full county board will vote on the issue at its May 15 meeting.
“I think that’s the type of business we want,” said committee Chairman Steve Wilhelmi, D-Joliet.
Walter Adamic, D-Joliet, said Coilplus workers could support a family on the company’s average annual salary of $72,000, which includes the cost of benefits.
“I’m for this,” he said.