RUSSELLVILLE – Logan County Fiscal Court is making good on a promise to provide financial incentives to a company in exchange for bringing 55 jobs to the county.
At its meeting Tuesday, fiscal court unanimously passed two measures that provide Emerson Climate Technologies, which has a facility in Russellville, with a one-time payment of $75,000 and 0.27 percent of the payroll tax the county gets from the 55 employees on Emerson’s new assembly line for the next 10 years.
Judge-Executive Logan Chick said he was excited about the deal because it includes the creation of 55 permanent jobs in the county.
According to Chick, making those jobs permanent is a requirement Emerson must fulfill before receiving the financial incentives.
“It’s 55 jobs, permanent jobs. It’s just not hiring 55 and laying 55 off,” he said. “They’ve got to guarantee that those 55 jobs will be permanent jobs.”
The expansion was part of an agreement Emerson Electric made with Logan County, Russellville and Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development that called for Emerson to make its expansions in exchange for 0.27 percent of the payroll tax revenue from those 55 new jobs that goes to the county.
This, combined with 0.73 percent of payroll tax revenue Russellville will receive from the 55 new jobs, totals one quarter of the amount Emerson will receive each year, which would equal 4 percent of the overall payroll tax revenue in association with those 55 jobs.
The remainder of that 4 percent would be paid by the state.
“That’s just a (Kentucky business) incentive that the state approved that the county has to give up a full 1 percent before the state gives up a full 4 (percent),” he said.
The amount Emerson would ultimately receive depends on numerous variables like wages and can’t be determined at this point, Chick said.
According to Chick, not all of these jobs are new ones per se. Some are jobs that existed in the county roughly 15 years ago before they were outsourced.
“What they’re doing with that expansion, they brought back 55 jobs from Mexico,” he said.
Tom Harned, executive director of Logan Economic Alliance for Development, said the incentives are actually based on two brand-new assembly lines being installed in the Emerson facility, not the one that “came back” from Mexico.
According to Harned, one of these lines is still being installed while the other two have already begun production.
Harned said Russellville is paying more than Logan County in the agreement because the facility’s impact on the city is greater.
“The Emerson facility is located within the city of Russellville and the tax benefits and the job benefits accrue more to the city than to the county,” he said.
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin said the company’s investment in the expansion paid for the installation of an assembly line in the facility.
“It did not add to the physical blueprint of the building so they did not build on to the building. They had space in the existing facility,” he said.
Bouldin speculated that the one-time payment of $75,000, which is being paired with a $200,000 one-time payment from Russellville, is to help offset the cost of moving equipment to the facility.
According to Bouldin, workers on the new assembly line will be manufacturing hermetic motors used in machines like air-conditioning units.
Bouldin said he was excited about the agreement because it provides more jobs for the community while helping a local business grow.
“Our best job creators are our existing companies, whether they’re manufacturing, industrial, small business,” he said. “Anything that we can do to help support our existing facilities, that is the easiest, quickest, cheapest way to job creation.”