City OKs Legislation for $10M Youngstown Tool & Die Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown City Council passed three pieces of legislation to advance Youngstown Tool & Die LLC’s proposed investment of at least $10 million in the former Exterran Energy Solutions Inc. building.

Council held a virtual meeting Wednesday evening that was broadcast on YouTube to address the agenda items, which had been placed into second reading when it last met in early March

Specifically, council members approved ordinances to transfer to Youngstown Tool & Die the 10-year enterprise zone agreement that the city entered into with Exterran for the Salt Springs Road property, and to extend the agreement by five years. 

They also voted to rescind an earlier enterprise zone agreement approved for Youngstown Tool & Die when it planned to expand on an available parcel on Exal Court adjacent to the Exterran building.      

The three ordinances each passed on 6-1 votes. Third Ward Councilwoman Samantha Turner cast the dissenting votes. 

Houston-based Exterran opened the plant in April 2013 and closed it in March 2016, citing the downturn in the oil and gas industry at the time. The plant manufactured compressor stations and other equipment for companies exploring the Utica-Point Pleasant and Marcellus shale plays. 

According to the legislation, Youngstown Tool & Die plans to retain 46 full-time employees and create an additional 54 positions if it moves forward with the project. The 75% abatement on real property taxes would provide a total of seven years of tax relief for the company with the five-year extension of the original abatement.   

The Youngstown Board of Education passed a resolution supporting the extended term in exchange for the company committing to establishing an internship program targeted to Youngstown City Schools graduates. 

Turner said she had nothing against Youngstown Tool & Die but she voted against the ordinances because she was unclear on the procedure and the reasoning behind how the city handled the abatement legislation. 

“I felt like there had to have been a better way to conduct it as a city,” she said. “I wasn’t confident in the information that was presented.”

Lauren Johnson, 422 Corridor and business development manager for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, who is working with Youngstown Tool & Die, expressed her appreciation to the city for advancing the project. 

“We’re really pleased that the city recognizes the importance of this project,” she said. “It’s another step forward.” 

Johnson said she spoke as recently as last week with company officials. She could not share a timeline for the company’s expansion project. The company is producing dies for medical equipment and probably has seen an increase in work, she said. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.