City Council passes ordinance dealing with Kraft Foods expansion

| October 8, 2014

COSHOCTON – Coshocton is one step closer to having its package of incentives ready for Kraft Foods to consider when deciding if its Coshocton plant should be the site of a proposed expansion.

City Council called a special meeting Oct. 6 to consider Ordinance 31-14, which authorizes the mayor to enter into an enterprise zone agreement with Kraft Foods Group Inc. and request the Board of County Commissioners of Coshocton County to submit an application to the director of the department of development services agency for a certification and or re-certification of the enterprise zone of the City of Coshocton.

“This is the last piece of the package,” said Mayor Steve Mercer.

The Ohio Enterprise Zone Act, under Ohio Revised Code Section 5709.61 through 5709.69 has authorized counties, with the consent and agreement of affected municipalities and townships therein, to designate areas as Enterprise Zones and to execute agreements with certain enterprises for the purpose of establishing, expanding, renovating or occupying facilities and hiring new employees and preserving jobs within said zones in exchange for specified local tax incentives granted by the county.

The council suspended its rules and gave Ordinance 31-14 three readings at its special meeting, but there was some discussion after the first reading.

Councilman Bob Fetters was curious about the prediction of the number of jobs the expansion would create.

“Is that 300 a fact or can they have less than that,” he asked.

Mayor Mercer assured Fetters and the rest of the council that there were ways to address that concern.

“We had another tax abatement like this with Annin when they expanded,” Mercer said. “We meet with them every year and there certainly are times when their number of employees falls below the number they said the expansion would create or maintain. It’s a flexible number because of market conditions, but there is an opportunity for them to review terms of this with us.”

City Council unanimously passed the ordinance after its third reading and City Service Director Jerry Stenner explained that Dorothy Skowrunski, executive director of the Port Authority, would get all necessary documents ready to send to the state.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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