Tax incentives for new Gurnee business on agenda

 
 
Updated 9/16/2014 1:42 PM
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  • Kristina Kovarik

    Kristina Kovarik

Nearly all of Gurnee's taxing agencies are scheduled to meet today regarding possible financial incentives for a proposed research and manufacturing facility.

Members of the boards of Gurnee, Woodland Elementary District 50, Warren Township High School District 121, the Gurnee Park District and Warren Township are the agencies on the special joint meeting agenda. The session will start at 5:30 p.m. at Gurnee village hall, 325 N. O'Plaine Road.

Officials said they couldn't release details about the proposal or the business' name ahead of the meeting, which also will include the village's advisory economic development committee.

But the Gurnee village board agenda lists "location selection of research and manufacturing facility." That will be followed by a presentation and discussion about a request for financial incentives "and/or tax relief" for the company.

No final decision on the proposal will occur at the joint session of the five governments serving Gurnee. The only local government that won't be represented in the meeting is Gurnee Elementary District 56, which covers parts of the village's east side.

Stung by the announced departure of a major manufacturer in September 2013, Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said the village needed to seek and retain such businesses.

"We are not on the offense," she said when addressing the push for economic development during a business luncheon in May.

Kenall Manufacturing, which has produced high-quality lighting products in Gurnee for 26 years, announced last year the company will leave Gurnee to expand into a 354,000-square-foot facility in Kenosha, allowing room for growth. The company received an unspecified incentive package from Wisconsin to move to Business Park of Kenosha just off I-94 at Highway 158.

Accompanied by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kenall executives hosted a groundbreaking in Kenosha in May.

Plans call for Kenall to bring 400 employees and create 350 new jobs in Kenosha. The company will vacate a 120,000-square-foot building in Gurnee west of the Tri-State Tollway.

Gurnee went on to hire an economic development consultant after the Kenall decision to move to Wisconsin.

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