By Aaron Whitlock
Mason Times staff writer
Mason City Council members say the city’s industrial park business, Efficiency Production, Inc., EPI, a leading manufacturer of trench safety equipment, needs a tax incentive in order to stay competitive.
The council unanimously approved a resolution for an Industrial Facilities Exemption Agreement on Monday night, which would give the company a 50 percent tax reduction over 12 years.
The agreement will also allow the company to buy a new crane, and add 14,000 square feet to its facilities.
EPI President, Ken Forsberg, said the company has expanded its business to other parts of the country, but all of its products are manufactured in Mason.
“We’re kind of running out of space,” Forsberg said. “Some of our inventory is stocked inside of the plant, taking up valuable space.”
Forsberg said EPI needs a separate space to make repairs to equipment they rent out.
EPI will also invest in a new drilling machine, Forsberg said.
The cost of the new facilities is just short of $1 million, at $995,000.
Forsberg said that in order to remain competitive as they grow their business, the tax incentive is necessary.
The IFT Exemption provides a tax incentive to manufacturers to enable renovation and expansion of aging facilities, assist in the building of new facilities and to promote the establishment of high tech facilities, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury’s website.
Councilman James Mulvany said he supports the motion and remembers the benefits EPI brought to the city when the company first moved there in 1991.
“At that time, we weren’t sure how we were going to make the payments on the bonds that we had on that facility,” Mulvany said. “I’m still appreciative of the fact you have paid off a good share of those bonds.”