If Johnson Controls executives decide to move the company to Hopewell Township, they will have a lot of local support.
"So far, we haven't cut off our left arm, but we're trying to be as cooperative as possible to keep the company in York County," said David Wisnom, chairman of the township's board of supervisors.
The township was notified at the beginning of September that the Milwaukee-based manufacturer of heating, cooling and ventilation systems was considering relocating its Spring Garden operations to the southern end of the county at the Stonebridge Industrial Park, he said.
Located off the Shrewsbury exit on I-83, the industrial park is anchored by Home Depot and Cracker Barrel, and includes Tractor Supply, Baltimore Steel, a Wellspan office and more.
Johnson Controls has an option to buy a piece of land there, spanning nearly 65 acres, through the end of the year, Wisnom said. Upon all necessary approvals, the company could break ground in the spring to begin construction of a new facility, he said.
Tax incentives: The company-which was previously known locally as York International-has asked to create a tax increment financing (TIF) district to help fund its potential facility in Stonebridge, Wisnom said.
Already unanimously approved by the South Eastern School District, the TIF would serve as a property tax incentive allowing Johnson Controls to redirect the tax dollars it would pay to the school district, township and county, into its infrastructure at the new site.
South Eastern voted to forfeit 70 percent of its tax revenue to support the plan, and township supervisors are likely to support the plan as well, Wisnom said.
"It would mean a lot to our area to have them here," he said. "It would be good for our future generations who need a decent place to work. A lot of our college-educated have had to leave the area."
Upon approval from the school district and township, the county is likely to approve it, said Commissioner Chris Reilly.
"Historically, if those two entities approve it, we are likely to approve it. I'd be inclined to approve it," he said.
The plan would also have support from Commissioner Doug Hoke.
"The company is a big part of the community, going back to York International. I'm not excited about them moving, but I'm happy they would stay in York County. If TIF can get the job done and get them to stay in York County, I think it's a good idea," he said.
The company: But the Fortune 500 company, which employs 1,000 local workers, hasn't announced specific plans for relocation.
The company currently operates two sites in the county-631 S. Richland Ave. in Spring Garden Township and 1499 E. Philadelphia St. in Springettsbury Township.
"After operating at the York Campus since 1925, Johnson Controls Building Efficiency is assessing the viability of our current location to accommodate growth. We are at the preliminary stages of this assessment and are exploring many sites," Monica Zimmer, spokeswoman for the company, said in a statement.
A final decision is expected early next year, she said.
"As we evaluate possible locations, we will make it a priority to retain our skilled workforce," Zimmer said.
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