Companies to invest more than $15 million to expand

Two local companies received tax breaks for promised investment in Seymour totaling just more than $15 million when city council members met Monday night.

Cummins Inc. and Alterra Holdings both have projects planned this year to add equipment and make improvements to their facilities that will result in new jobs.

Alterra, a manufacturer of plastic compounds, will invest $12,050,000 to expand its business at 2213 Killion Ave. in the Eastside Industrial Park, enabling the company to have 100 million pounds of compounding capacity, according to a statement of benefits filed with the city.

The company will be adding five new compounding lines at a cost of $10 million, giving Alterra a total of nine production lines. It also is adding two injection molding machines and two smaller compounding lines for research and development at a cost of $2 million.

Alterra produces bioplastic compounds used in a variety of markets, including automotive, agriculture and household. The company previously operated as Trellis Earth Products and Cereplast.

With the added capacity, the company estimates it will hire an additional 10 workers, bringing its workforce to 30. Those 10 new employees will earn salaries totaling an estimated $800,000.

Installation of manufacturing equipment will begin April 1 and be completed in a year. New research and development and information technology equipment installation is scheduled to last from May 1 to Dec. 31.

The approved tax abatement will allow Alterra to phase in paying taxes on the equipment over a period of 10 years, except for the $50,000 in IT equipment, which only is eligible for a five-year abatement.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., said Alterra will begin using a railroad spur the city extended in the area to Alterra’s facility several years ago.

“Those at the Eastside Industrial Park are soon to see some additional train traffic beginning as soon as April 1,” he said. “The company has now reached the point where they are looking at utilizing train transportation.”

This year, Cummins Inc. plans to make an additional $924,000 in improvements at its industrial center at 800 E. Third St. and add $2.25 million in new manufacturing equipment.

The tax abatement request is part of the engine maker’s ongoing multiyear expansion of its technical center in Seymour.

The current project is expected to begin this month and wrap up by the end of the year.

Plump spoke on behalf of Cummins at Monday’s meeting. He said the expansion is not expected to create any new jobs right away but could lead to additional hiring in the future and allows the company to retain its current workforce of 926.

Over the last three years, Cummins had not promised any new jobs but has added 342 employees, Plump said.

Since 2010, Cummins has invested more than $289 million in its Seymour facilities and hired more than 900 workers.