Fiberspar Corporation, a manufacturer of flexible composite pipes for the oil and gas industry, is locating some 200 to 300 jobs into Johnstown. The company plans to locate into a 165,000 square-foot facility in McWhinney’s Iron Horse business park 1 mile east of Centerra. Within two years the company expects to employ as many as 300 “above average wage” employees in its newest state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Appearing before Johnstown’s Town Council last month, Chad McWhinney told the elected officials he was “under the gun” to erect the building and move the tenant in as fast as possible. According to one Johnstown official, “We didn’t give any incentives to McWhinney to locate it there….they were moving dirt before the city council got it approved so it was quick and easy.”
Unlike Loveland, Johnstown has no special business incentive program to lure potential employers and has refused to divert future property tax revenues through phony designations of blight on agricultural land. The same official told LovelandPolitics, “Johnstown already has a streamlined way of doing business so we told him use that process. All that stuff is boilerplate and we don’t change it for one developer or another…what is good enough for everyone else ought to be good enough for McWhinney.”
The official continued, “He [Chad McWhinney] had to come in with sewer and water agreements just like anyone else…this isn’t Loveland.”
Despite being offered only the same process and fees schedules imposed on any other developer, McWhinney has continued expanding their Iron Horse business park with great success.
McWhinney is developing Fiberspar Corporation’s “build-to-suit” manufacturing facility on a 17-acre site east of the FedEx Distribution Center at the Iron Horse business park. The new 165,000 square feet facility will include approximately 6,000 square feet of offices. David Hagan, Senior Vice President of McWhinney, said, “We are thrilled that after diligently reviewing a number of options, Fiberspar selected McWhinney and Iron Horse as they continue to expand their operations.”
Conspicuously absent from the move are the millions of dollars in subsidies Loveland has provided McWhinney for their developments just down the road Loveland. In fact, Iron Horse business park is much smaller in size than Centerra but expected to return more property taxes to Johnstown, the county and schools than all of McWhinney’s Centerra does to Loveland the other local entities. This is due to the fact regular property taxes will be collected on the development as opposed to diverting those taxes back to McWhinney via a Metro District as Loveland does. In addition, McWhinney did not receive any use tax waivers, CEF reductions or other subsidies that have accompanied similar developments they have located in Loveland.
Iron Horse business park is zoned as a Planned Unit Development Mixed Use (PUD-MU). Johnstown has placed limits upon McWhinney for the development including where large cargo trucks can drive to accommodate complaints by a nearby business. Despite the lack of financial inducements to locate employers in Johnstown, McWhinney continues building out Iron Horse's 165-acre mixed use area in northeast Johnstown.
According to a study conducted by cfed in North Carolina, "Policymakers offer billions in tax and other incentives every year, yet most economists and policy analysts agree that these inducements waste public dollars and subsidize private companies for actions they are likely to have taken anyway." click here to read the full report
The McWhinney brothers began developing in Loveland after inheriting their grandparents farm near I-25. In 2004 McWhinney Enterprises signed an agreement with the City of Loveland providing incentives for development reaching 25 years into the future while also diverting sales taxes to McWhinney's own metro district. Subsequently, the McWhinney's have sought and received additional tax and fee waivers from the City of Loveland giving their company a substantial advantage over other developers.
While Loveland's city leaders will see the loss of any potential employer to Johnstown as a political loss, the longterm benefits for the community are substantial. See LovelandPolitics story from May 17, 2012
McWhinney Development Sans Tax Waivers Brings Jobs