|By Aubri Bailly|
CHICOPEE – The Chicopee City Council voted on Nov. 19 to let the German window company Menck USA become the new owner of the vacant building on Champion Drive in Chicopee.
The Council unanimously voted in favor to pass a resolution allowing the company to receive tax breaks for their Chicopee facility.
The council’s actions designated 77 Champion Drive as a Economic Opportunity Area, which allow the city and the company to enter into a binding tax agreement. The company will pay no property tax for fiscal year 2015, 25 percent of the tax for 2016, 50 percent for 2017, 75 percent in 2018 and the full tax beginning in 2019.
Menck USA is in business with Menck Fenster, a company based in Hamburg, Germany. Menck Fenster has been manufacturing windows and doors since their opening in 1883.
Chicopee will be home to the first Menck USA facility. Originally, Menck had plans to start their company in Vermont. When plans fell through, they began looking into central and Western Massachusetts as an alternative.
“I think it’s just a great thing to bring into the city,” Councilor Dino Brunetti said in favor of the proposal.
This company, which plans to begin with 20 to 30 jobs and then increase over time to 50 to 75 jobs, has many plans for the future. The jobs they plan to bring are skilled, full-time jobs.
“It’s all about jobs, no matter where you go,” Councilor James Tillotson said during the meeting.
Tillotson also mentioned that he believes losing a little bit of tax money right now will be worth it in the long run.
“If we don’t take a shot, there will be no jobs,” Tillotson added.
Although there is no guarantee that Menck USA will be successful, most councilors that were present at the meeting spoke highly of what they thought about this venture.
Councilor Robert Zygarowski said that he believes that bringing this company into Chicopee will be an asset to the city.
“Eventually, hopefully, some of the tax dollars will flow into the city of Chicopee. It will create some good paying jobs, and that’s what is important,” Zygarowski concluded.
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