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FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Fort Smith officials have approved two incentives in an effort to persuade a business to come to the city and create up to 150 jobs.

Missouri-based Silgan Plastic Food Containers Corp. is looking to build a 100,000-square-foot (about 9290-square-meter) manufacturing facility in Fort Smith. The company produces plastic containers meant for packaging and food storage.

The city has been negotiating with Silgan for nearly a year in hopes to bring the company to western Arkansas, the Times Record reported .

The city’s Board of Directors unanimously voted Monday to issue $38 million in industrial revenue bonds to Silgan and endorse it for the tax back program. The program would allow Silgan to request refunds of sales taxes paid on building materials, new equipment and other eligible expenses acquired because of construction.

“Silgan PFC would make annual payments in lieu of taxes in the amount of 50 percent of the normal taxes due for a period of 10 years,” said Jeff Dingman, deputy city administrator. “The payments would be distributed to the school district, the county and the city in the same fashion as property tax payments are distributed. The bonds are not general obligations of the city.”

The facility is expected to take almost a year to build and employ 150 people within the first three years.

“This is a great opportunity for the city to attract new business to the region,” said Kevin Settle, at-large director and vice mayor. “It’s something that city government can do — there’s only a few things city government can do for economic development — and these are some of the things that we can do, so I think trying to attract new business to our city to grow is something we need to do every time.”

The company is expected to confirm by the end of January whether it will build the facility in Fort Smith.


Information from: Southwest Times Record,