New Industry Looking at Locating in Effingham

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Published on December 18 2013 3:52 am
Written by Greg Sapp

A food processing company is looking at locating in Effingham.

Continental Mills is a Seattle-based firm that is expanding their reach to the east.  The company has a plant in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, as does Siemer Milling Company of Teutopolis.  Siemer Milling supplies flour to Continental's plant in Hopkinsville so the company was familiar with Effingham from that connection as well as a prior visit to tour the Harlan Bakery plant, which originally was the Krispy Kreme donut plant.

Continental's Senior Vice-President for Operations Mike Meredith was in Effingham Tuesday night to talk with the Effingham City Council about their plans.   Meredith said the company plans to buy the Harlan Bakery plant in the Effingham Business Park.  Effingham Economic Development Director Todd Hull said Meredith said the company expects to acquire the plant by the end of the month and to offer jobs to the 13 employees now there.  However, they plan to create some 60 jobs over the next two to three years.  The company also intends to spend $10 million on the plant over the next couple of years to make it ready for food processing, although Meredith did not indicate what product would be produced in Effingham.

The City Council is considering a package of incentives for the company.  The incentives would include an abatement of property taxes for four years, as well as a job creation grant of $3,000 per job up to 38 jobs per year for up to four years.

The Council could vote on the package at their next meeting on January 7.

Also Tuesday, the Council amended the liquor license for Scrubby's Pub downtown to allow the sale of package liquor as well as consumption at the premises...agreed to issue a liquor license to Dorant AFA Incorporated, doing business as Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse and locating in the former Fashion Bug location at 1302 Avenue of Mid-America...and awarded a package of property/casualty, fidelity bonds and workers compensation insurance policies to the Illinois Public Risk Fund through Weis Insurance Agency of Effingham for $382,710, which is an 18% increase from this past year.

The Council approved a tax increment finance district redevelopment agreement with Dial and Dial Properties that is redeveloping the former Fedders Corporation complex...approved a contract with Farnsworth Group on design of a reconstructed portion of Douglas Avenue on the north side of South Side School...approved an agreement with Verizon Wireless to put communications equipment on certain city light poles...named Mandy Sheehan to the Tourism Advisory Board to replace Frank Hoelscher...approved a proposal for water main work along Industrial Avenue...and heard from City Engineer Jeremy Heuerman that a portion of sewer line west of the businesses that run along Keller Drive is gone and needs replaced.