Council approves bonds for company
With flashlights guiding the way during a power outage from a severe thunderstorm, the Eudora City Council approved bonds Monday night to help bring a new business to Eudora.
Council members unanimously approved industrial revenue bonds (IRB), not to exceed $15 million, to HP Pelzer Inc. The company would pay an unspecified amount of money to the city each year in lieu of taxes since such bonds are tax-exempt.
Debi Moore, senior vice president of economic development at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, presented the council with the company's request.
"This is the first (meeting) I've ever done by flashlight," Moore joked. "I'm very excited about this company. The people I have met with have been indicative of a high-quality company."
HP Pelzer manufactures insulation, trim and carpet for General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler-Chrysler and other auto makers. The company would cater to GM and Ford plants in Kansas City, Mo., and wants to purchase the R.R. Donnelly building, which formally housed Communicolor. Communicolor is a direct-mail business and a division of RRD Direct. It closed its doors in August after 10 years of business.
Moore said the company plans to employ 180 workers within three years. Seven corporate employees will relocate to the Eudora area to get the plant started. Employees would have an average salary of $26,000 a year.
Rex Burkhardt, council president, said a company that would hire locally was one he could support coming to the community.
"I was happy when they gave us the answer at the last meeting that these jobs are local," Burkhardt said. "In the long run, I'm pretty sure this will work out well for the city of Eudora."
Tom Pyle, council member, said he is glad to know paychecks would be going to Eudora people and hopefully would be spent in the community.
"We have a number of people in this area who already work for General Motors," Pyle said. "They're still going to have their jobs and everything else but their paychecks are coming back."
Council member Pat Dardis agreed.
"It's a win-win situation," he said.
The company hopes to close soon on the building and begin moving in equipment no later than January, Moore said.