CHANGED AGAIN: Time changes for Public Hearing on Guardian PILOT

Guardian Glass

Officials announced on Thursday that a second Public Hearing would be held on Monday, March 20th at 6 pm at the Public Safety Building in Geneva for the proposed Guardian Glass PILOT agreement.

In a statement Thursday afternoon officials said the additional opportunity for the public to comment was due to inclement weather associated with Winter Storm Stella.

They note that comments from both sessions will be included in the record. Those who would like to submit a comment via email can send those to City Manager Matt Horn at [email protected].

Guardian Glass is seeking a modification to its existing PILOT agreement with the City’s Industrial Development Agency. The request from Guardian Glass to extend the previously signed PILOT agreement and modify the payment schedule will allow the company to invest significantly in the Geneva plant.

Editor’s Note: After the initial hearing was scheduled for Monday at 7 pm, officials announced on Friday that the hearing would be held one hour earlier at 6 pm. The location of the public hearing will not change.

Original Story

The Public Hearing for Guardian Glass’ updated PILOT is still on for 6 pm, according to Geneva officials.

Guardian Glass is seeking a modification to its existing agreement with the City’s Industrial Development Agency.

Rhonda Everdyke said Tuesday in an email that the public hearing would still take place, and those who would be unable to attend should submit their comments to City Manager Matt Horn. Those comments, would need to be received by the time the meeting is scheduled, so that they can be submitted into the record.

Despite the fact that unnecessary travel has been discouraged by county officials throughout the area, the City will hold it’s Public Hearing on the Guardian PILOT. It’s unclear what kind of turnout will be expected at the session.

The City IDA received a request from Guardian to extend its PILOT agreement and modify the payment schedule, which will enable them to complete a significant investment at the Geneva plant, currently located on Forge Avenue in the Geneva Industrial Park.

Public opinion has been mixed on the proposal, but it’s not clear if the hearing will be well-attended.

Currently, Guardian Glass is in it’s 20th year of an agreement, which was negotiated in 1997. The original agreement called for taxes to be paid on the value of land only for a period of time, followed by a “ramping up” of tax payments to full taxability at the conclusion of the agreement.

In exchange for the original agreement, Guardian invested $100 million in the property and now employs 300 people at their Geneva location.

Due to heavy production and natural wear on the equipment, Guardian’s main production component, its large furnace, is due to be replaced this year. This replacement requires over $60 million in new investment.

The future of the Geneva plant was called into question, as their corporate ownership pointed out that the investment of a new furnace would be based on the competitive cost of doing business at each location.

Guardian proposes an extension of the current agreement by 12 years to lock in the 2016 tax payment for a period of five years, and to ramp up to full taxability by 2035.

The construction alone related to the new furnace will result in nearly 140 jobs, and have a net economic impact of $25 million.

The IDA will then consider approval at their regularly scheduled meeting set for March 21st.

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