During its monthly meeting, the City Council accepted a $100,000 check from Heartland Automotive in honor of the company's silver anniversary and then heard even more good news from local industry, learning that Chiyoda USA Corp. will be increasing its investment in new manufacturing equipment by more than $3 million at its East Side plant.
Celebrating 25 years in Greencastle during 2012, Heartland had previously pledged the monetary gift during a meeting between Heartland President Toshio Kawa-shima and Mayor Sue Murray.
Tuesday night, President Kawashima, Vice President of Operations Ronan Miot and Heartland Business Project Manager Ritsuko Abrams formally presented the six-figure check at City Hall.
Mayor Murray thanked Heartland for its "generosity as a corporate citizen of Greencastle for 25 years," adding that she hopes for "25 more, maybe 125 more."
Council members Phyllis Rokicki and T. J. Smith have been charged with figuring out the best way to use the $100,000 for the betterment of community, and will be making such a recommendation to the full City Council.
When that will occur, however, is uncertain.
"Soon," Rokicki promised. "Heartland wants to know. But it's a lot of money."
Kawashima offered a few remarks about Heartland's 25 years in Greencastle as the American headquarters for Shigeru Industries of Ota City, Japan. With Abrams interpreting, he said "25 years ago, Shigeru heard a voice in the the sky say, 'Come to Greencastle.'"
Chiyoda, meanwhile, came to Greencastle six years ago after acquiring the Happico operation at State Road 240 and Capital Drive.
The company, which manufactures automobile components primarily for Subaru, received tax abatement from the City Council last April for an investment of $1.65 million in new injection-molding equipment.
Tuesday night, Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory explained that Chiyoda is increasing that investment to $4.95 million with the purchase of three additional injection-molding machines "to help grow the business."
Terms of the amended abatement would be a phased-in program over seven years, as was approved in April.
The additional equipment, to all be installed by March 2014, will not change employment numbers, which have been in the 150-200 range since the 2006 opening of Chiyoda in Greencastle.
The additional abatement will save the company $108,000 over a 10-year period, Dory said, while Chiyoda will pay an additional $126,000 in tax revenues over the period because of the added equipment.
In its six years in Greencastle, Chiyoda has paid $960,000 in taxes on property and equipment, Dory pointed out.
"Thanks for your support," said Production General Manager Ron Muncie, who was accompanied to the Council meeting by Chiyoda Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Yoshio Ozawa.
"Thanks for your investment," Council member Jinsie Bingham responded.
Resolution 2012-27, amending the list of Chiyoda equipment eligible for tax abatement, was approved unanimously following a motion by Council President Adam Cohen.
The local plant manufactures 17 different plastic and electrical parts that are molded, painted, inspected and shipped from the Greencastle facility to the Subaru SIA manufacturing plant in Lafayette.
Chiyoda's Greencastle plant is one of three it owns in the U.S. The other plants are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Lagrange, Ga.