Dawn Food Products Inc. located in Crown Point, will be closing this summer. 160 local jobs will be lost. Photo by Scott R. Brandush/STAR
Updated: June 11, 2013 1:13PM
CROWN POINT — The City Council on June 3 accepted the recommendation of the Human Resources and Economic Development Committee and granted a 7-year tax abatement on equipment to R. J. Van Drunen and Sons, Inc. which plans to move into the old Dawn Foods building at 1300 E. Summit St.
Known as Van Drunen Farms, this company out of Momence, Ill. will be installing $5 million in processing equipment in the now empty shell of the old Dawn Foods building.
A tax abatement does not remove all real estate taxes. The assessment on the land and building will remain. The abatement for this project reduces taxes on the equipment on a declining scale for seven years.
By having the building occupied and in use the assessed value of that real estate will go up.
Councilman Bill Feder, D-at large, made sure that any construction work being done within the building will be paid on a prevailing wage basis.
Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-at large, said in favor of the abatement, “I don’t think you will find a bigger fan of free enterprise. Abatements are more helpful to the free enterprise system.”
Most new employment will be entry level in the processing plant at a rate of $11 per hours. Councilman Chad Jeffries, D-1st, said the company told officials that raises are given based on productivity.
Van Drunen Farms is a primary processor food ingredients, specializing in fruits, vegetables, herbs and specialty products for the food industry.
Summit Street is part of a truck route that will take their delivery vehicles east to the 109th Avenue interchange with Interstate 65 for transportation across the country.