DANVILLE – Flex-N-Gate officials announced this summer a planned expansion for its Danville facility that is expected to add at least 100 jobs and benefit at least 51 low-to-moderate-income persons.

Aldermen will act tonight on approving Flex-N-Gate utilize $80,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to assist with machinery for the expansion.

According to project information, Flex-N-Gate, 3403 Lynch Creek Drive, has been awarded new manufacturing business from Ford and Toyota to build plastic upper and lower grilles.

To accommodate for new equipment and machinery, a 55,000-square-foot addition to the existing 52,000-square-foot facility is needed.

The site is located in the Danville/Vermilion County Enterprise Zone. Total investment is estimated at more than $18 million, with $8 million being new equipment.

Parts will be shipped to Michigan and Indiana.

The CDBG funds would go toward the purchase of an injection molding machine.

The project, which has a target occupancy date of September 2019, is expected to have full employment of an additional 135 full-time employees by March 2021. The company currently employs 134 full-time employees.

The additional payroll would be about $4.3 million. The average wage of employees is $15 per hour plus benefits.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity already approved $1.198 million in Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Program (EDGE) tax credits for Flex-N-Gate Plastics Corporation’s Danville project.

According to Bill Beistline, vice president for Flex-N-Gate/Ventra Procurement, depending on the final number of injection machines, the investment for the expansion will be between $18 million and $25 million.

The financial assistance would reduce logistics costs, ease talent recruitment and reduce insurance costs, according to Flex-N-Gate officials. Flex-N-Gate incurs less cost for labor, worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance at its Veedersburg, Ind. plant.

Beistline says “we should start some of the civil work as early as late this week.”

Flex-N-Gate is a leading manufacturer and supplier of large, stamped metal and welded components, assemblies and plastic parts for the automotive industry.

In other business tonight, the Public Works Committee is expected to hear a storm water management update and will begin reviewing the city’s proposed 2018 tax levy and fiscal year 2019-2020 budget.

Also Tuesday, committee members will consider:

• Authorizing application for up to $200,000 in Safe Routes to School funding through the Illinois Department of Transportation to improve pedestrian safety and movements generated by Mark Denman and Northeast elementary schools. The improvements include crosswalk improvements on Griffin Street at English Street and sidewalk and ramp improvements on portions of English, Griffin, Fairchild and Maple streets. The city would perform surveying and engineering work as its share of the project.

• A $61,850 contract for Phase 1 engineering services by Clark Dietz Inc. of Champaign for a downtown lighting and sound system. Action on this item by the full city council had been postponed, with the scope of work also adjusted. The agreement had been for $34,750.

Danville Community Development Manager David Schnelle has said the agreement was for budgets, conceptual designs and other initial planning for a programmable system. He also previously said the project would be led by Clark Dietz but designed by sub-consultants. The work would be paid with Downtown Tax Increment Financing funds. It had been proposed to be paid through the city’s Community Development professional services budget and a line item transfer from personnel expenditures. The city had a planner resign.

• Purchasing five properties in the county tax auction from the Vermilion County Trustee for the minimum bid and recording fee of $789 per property. The properties are at 2620 E. Main St. which would be utilized for Meade Park; blight removal at 306-308 Oak St.; 517 Lafayette and 520 W. Madison streets, which would be used with other property already owned by the city for redevelopment, and 129 N. Vermilion St. This property was to be a gelato shop many years ago. The city owns the other lot that makes up the property on which the building sits.

• Amending terms of electric franchise agreement with Ameren Illinois Co.

• Purchasing permanent easement at 707 S. Griffin St. from Jason Hillard to replace the sanitary sewer crossing of Stoney Creek near South Griffin Street. The purchase will be paid for from the city’s sewer enterprise fund infrastructure improvement line item.

Coming Up

The Danville City Council's Public Works Committee meets at 6 tonight at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.

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