Andrew Trzaska | June 28, 2011
Muskegon’s own Ameriform Inc. has the go-ahead from the City of Muskegon to expand its operations, and will be getting a tax break for a decade to do so.
At Tuesday’s full meeting, Muskegon city commissioners voted through a Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate for the company’s second location at 1770 E. Keating Ave.
This will help keep down some of their tax obligations as they work on adding new equipment to their operations.
Ameriform, Inc. specializes in thermoforming, which involves molding heated plastic and assembling it to make items including boats, portable toilets and packaging.
The company employs about 100 people year-round, and swells to approximately 250 workers in the summer to meet seasonal demands for some of its products.
The summer workers include high school students, including ones gained through a partnership with Muskegon High School.
This expansion will add up to 15 jobs to the local economy, and will add close to $20,000 to the city’s tax base even with the tax exemption.
Company President Daniel Harris spoke at Tuesday’s city commission meeting about their anticipated expansion, saying it was long overdue.
“It’s nice to be here under these kinds of terms… and it’s been a while.”
Harris stressed that recent management changes and the economy led to the delay of the expansion.
Harris also saw the city’s approval as a sign of a good working relationship; Ameriform is a quiet charitable supporter of many community organizations and events.
“It’s important for a company like ours to be supported by the community and vice versa.”
The tax exemption cuts half of the property taxes required for the new development. With this, Ameriform has to comply with certain criteria, including some affirmative action guidelines.
Commissioner Chris Carter complimented Ameriform during the meeting on its current diversity levels. The company has slightly below a 24% racial diversity rate and just over a 10% gender diversity rate as well.
No word was available at Tuesday’s meeting when the $2,000,000 in improvements will be completed, or when hiring may begin.