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City attracts plastics firm for I-24 Park

BY CARRIE DILLARD cdillard@paducahsun.com

A second Michigan-based business is expected to take residence in the I-24 Park in Paducah, this one bringing 75 jobs initially, according to Chad Chancellor, president of Paducah Economic Development.

In 2013, Whitehall Industries, based in Ludington, Mich., built a $12.5 million aluminum extrusion auto parts manufacturing plant inside the I-24 Park off Olivet Church Road.

On Tuesday, the Paducah City Commission introduced a memorandum agreement with Genova Products, headquartered in Davison, Mich., to locate a plastics manufacturing facility at 5400 Commerce Drive. The deal is contingent on state economic incentives, Chancellor said, which should be approved later in the month.

Genova will lease the building formerly occupied by California-based Infiniti Plastics Technology. The 100,000 square-foot plant is owned by the city of Paducah and McCracken County. The building was constructed in 2004 for approximately $5 million, Chancellor said.

"It's a real win for Paducah," said Mayor Gayle Kaler. "It increases our diversity and companies we have here.  People need jobs so they can provide for their families. It's another home run for the Paducah."

Infiniti's lease was terminated after the company failed to produce the 100-plus jobs it had promised as part of the agreement that brought it to Paducah.

Paducah Economic Development (PED) officials recently paid approximately $70,000 to Infiniti for equipment the company still had on the premises when it closed last August. Infiniti's exit cleared the way for the new industrial prospect.

"We met them (Genova) in 2011 and have been talking to them for three years," Chancellor said. "They were another plastics company and were the first ones we called when the building became available."

Genova makes PVC plumbing pipes, vinyl fencing and vinyl decking. As another plastics manufacturer, the company can lease the purchased equipment from PED for use in its new facility.

Chancellor said the new company will bring 125 jobs to the area over a 10-year period.

"They'll start with 75 jobs within the first year and grow from there," he said.

The deal also requires the McCracken Fiscal Court to give its approval, which it is expected to do next Monday. The commission will hold its second reading of the memorandum agreement on June 10.

Staff writer David Zoeller contributed to this article.

Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.

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