Gary council action helps create jobs
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent April 16, 2013 10:32PM
Updated: May 22, 2013 6:16AM
GARY — At least 24 new jobs are slated to come to the city via ordinances passed by the Common Council.
The council passed 8-0, with Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas, D-1, absent, an ordinance authorizing the city to issue $11.5 million in revenue bonds for the Kirk Yard project. The move was the last step in moving the project forward and took several months to reach the council floor.
In turn, the city forged an agreement with Kirk Yard owner Canadian National Railway to make available to Gary residents many of the expected 150 jobs from that project, Economic Development Director Forest Hayes said. The jobs portion is written into the agreement’s financials, so it’s tied directly to the funding.
The railroad is already identifying local contractors for the remaining 15 percent of the construction work, he said. As well, CN will work with the city’s New Day, New Jobs initiative to fit workers with positions.
“The good thing about this is CN has agreed to open up the jobs to our residents company-wide, so once they’re trained, they become part of the union and therefore are eligible for jobs wherever,” Hayes said. “With the building trades, you have to be part of the union before you can get a job.”
The council also passed 7-1, with Councilwoman Kim Robinson casting the lone “no” vote, an ordinance that establishes an economic redevelopment zone for Metal Processing Corp. at 201 Mississippi St. The company received a 10-year tax abatement that will see property taxes decline 10 percent each year.
The abatement would be on personal property, not the land itself, said Vito LoVerde, corporate counsel for MPC.
The coiled-steel manufacturer will expand its 300,000-square-foot warehouse by an additional 70,000 to 80,000 square feet. It will lease the additional footage, LoVerde said, to accommodate $5.7 million in new equipment.
The first round of equipment has already been ordered and should take around 10 months to arrive, he said.
With the addition, MPC expects to add at least eight employees, but the total would likely be closer to 24 to cover second and third shifts, LoVerde said.
In other business, Council President Kyle Allen said landlords and property managers have until April 30 to register their rental property with the city without incurring a fee.