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18 new jobs coming to city

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About 20 new jobs are coming to Franklin after a company decided to expand here instead of at another facility in Michigan.

Pridgeon & Clay wants to expand its current location in the Franklin Business Park, retaining 82 jobs and adding 18 new positions, according to documents filed with the city.

The company, which manufacturers auto parts, is asking for a tax break for the $3.8 million expansion, which a city board will consider next week.

The management at the Franklin plant played a large role in persuading the company to expand in Indiana because the plant has been continuously busy filling orders and has been able to hire good employees, Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said. The city has been working with Pridgeon & Clay for several weeks and recently received word that the Franklin plant would be the one to grow.

“The close proximity to some of their customers and the labor force, they’ve had a lot of success with Johnson County area employees,” McGuinness said.

Franklin is working with multiple companies right now who are interested in buildings or land in central Indiana, so the expansion could be the first of several new developments in the city this summer. The city received information from the state that Franklin is a potential match for a company that is searching in Indiana for a new building, McGuinness said.

Pridgeon & Clay plans to add a new building that would connect with the current 74,000-square-foot building at Graham and Arvin roads. In addition to the new building, the company also would add a new stamping line and assembly line, according to documents filed with the city.

The 18 new jobs would include managers, sales, repair and operators, with pay ranging between $12.50 and $25 per hour, not including benefits, the document said. The average wage for the new jobs is lower than the county average, according to the city.

The company is asking for a 10-year tax break for the $500,000 new building and seven-year break on $3.3 million in equipment.

The tax break request will be considered by the economic development commission Tuesday and if approved, could go before the city council later this month.

The company has been stable and continued to grow since it last received a tax break for new equipment in 2000, McGuinness said. Franklin winning the expansion over another company site also shows the company is supportive of staying in the city long-term, which is why it should approve the tax breaks, the mayor said.

“I always consider what’s fair and reasonable for the business, but also long term for the city, so that we’re not overextending ourselves for jobs that are not suited for our community,” he said.

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