RDA Happenings March 2013
Posted on March 1, 2013 – By Emporia RDA
On March 7th, the RDA hosted an update of their activities in the past, present and future. The presentation included a summarization of the nearly twenty (20) years of activity. The past and current RDA Chairs discussed the past, current and future for job creation and growth. The re-curring theme is that we need jobs.
The results of the recruitment and expansion projects from 1995 to 2012 were $758,699,270 in new capital investment in buildings and equipment, over 2,062,000 square foot of new buildings were constructed and over 1,100 new full-time jobs were created with an estimated annual pay-roll in excess of $36 million. Some of the latest expansions are that Simmons Pet Food is adding a $4.59 million production line and 30 new full-time jobs with an added payroll of over $1,000,000. AmeriGreen, a corrugated cardboard pallet manufacturer, is leasing the former Len-ze building.
The Return on Investment in new property taxes collected is $1,119,216 and the estimated property tax to be collected in the future is $1,458,630. According to the Westar Energy Empo-ria Energy Center fact sheet on their website indicated that once the Emporia Energy Center tax abatement expires, the assessed valuation of the tax base will increase by more than $50 million or 24%. What that means is, if the tax base increases and the tax dollars requested are constant then the mill levy will be reduced by 24%.
Tyson (IBP) Fresh Meats was the largest employer in 1995 and 2013. In 2008, due to cost and over capacity in the slaughter industry, Tyson closed those operations resulting in a downsizing by 1,640 jobs.
Hostess Brands closed in the fall of 2012 from 1995. Didde Web Press declared bankruptcy in December 2000. Didde Web Press was purchased by Alcoa Packaging in Englewood, Colorado, who moved operations there, but has not produced a web press. Modine was purchased by Pro-liance Company in 2005; they closed the Emporia plant and moved those jobs to another loca-tion. Proliance declared bankruptcy in 2009. The product line of copper and brass radiators was a secondary declining market.
Simmons Pet Food, Norfolk Iron & Metal, Camoplast Solideal, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Hol-man Distribution Center are in today’s top ten manufacturer’s list. These companies were not in Emporia in 1995. The trends with these recruited companies are manufacturers with 100 to 300 employees, large capital investment in equipment and require a higher level of skills.
This newsletter article was written before the Hostess Brands bankruptcy auction of March 13, 2013, and the bankruptcy court will approve the highest and best bidder on March 19th. The RDA has had conversations with representatives from Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., who are the stalking horse bidder. The intention of this is to start baking cake products in Emporia. Hostess Brands had eleven cake plants before the bankruptcy liquida-tion. The bidder is only purchasing five of eleven; one of those cake plants being Emporia. Our belief is that the future looks extremely bright for Emporia and cake products today and in the future. We will update next month.