JR Automation in search of tax relief

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — JR Automation has plans for an expansion that could add up to 60 jobs in the Lincoln Township area over five years.

However, the Stevensville business is seeking tax relief and a change in its development district in order to do so.

Lincoln Township trustees voted Tuesday to set two public hearings for Jan. 10 to allow residents a chance to find out more and voice their opinions.

One hearing will be for trustees to consider amending the Industrial Development District for JR Automation by adding an adjacent parcel to the existing land.

A second public hearing will be for trustees to consider a 12-year tax abatement for the construction of the 12-year expansion on the added parcel.

The proposed 25,000-square-foot expansion is for a production facility.

Assessor John Baumann said if trustees approve the tax abatement, JR Automation would get a 50 percent reduction in taxes for all entities exempt the state education tax.

“The abatement would be for just the expansion,” Baumann said. “I believe they’re going to ask for 12 years. That’s the max that you can ask for. Normally they range between six and 12 (years).”

Baumann said JR Automation first showed interest in November, when Cornerstone Alliance approached the township with the idea.

“Cornerstone Alliance is actively involved in dozens of projects,” Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland said in an email. “Each project requires a certain level of confidentiality and procedure. Cornerstone Alliance looks forward to presenting at the public hearing on Jan. 10, 2017.”

Officials from JR Automation could not be reached for comment.

JR Automation’s plant is at 7275 Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville. The plant originally opened under the name of Dane Systems in 1990.

JR Technology Group LLC acquired Dane Systems from the Huizenga Automation Group in 2015.

Dane designed and made manufacturing equipment for aerospace, automotive, construction, consumer products, food processing, furniture, and medical and pharmaceutical industries.

JR Automation’s headquarters are in Holland, Mich., and provides “customized and highly engineered, automated manufacturing system solutions.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 16, 2016)


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