Ottawa council annexes glass plant

The City Council voted Tuesday to annex the Pilkington North America glass manufacturing plant, ensuring "150 good jobs" for area residents, Mayor Robert Eschbach said.Mayor Robert Eschbach said the annexation agreement promises the city will provide water and sewer services to the plant.

In return, the company will make improvements to the plant to ensure the business stays in the area.

Eschbach said installation of the water and sewer services is about 95 percent finished.

"A lot of times, it's an old facility and it's easy to build a new one somewhere else," he said. "It was important to keep those jobs. Even though it's only 150 jobs, it's 150 good jobs."

Pilkington North America, an Ohio-based international glass manufacturer, makes sheet glass for automobiles and domestic use.

When Pilkington bought the Libby Owens Ford glass company in 1986, it acquired the sheet glass factory near Ottawa, said Pilkington representative Roberta Steedman. Five percent of the product manufactured in the Ottawa plant is shipped internationally, Steedman said.

Eschbach said the company also will be paying real estate and utility taxes, which will pay off the city's investment in the company over the next eight to 10 years.

"We'll be completely paid back in tax revenues," Eschbach said. "But the most important thing is maintaining those jobs."

600450 Ottawa council annexes glass plant
Date: 6 January 2006

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