Nissen to add jobs
By Jane Beathard
Nissen Chemitec America at 350 E. High St. in London will add 58,500-square feet of production space and 21 full-time employees to its current operation during the next three years. In return, the city will exempt 50 percent of property tax on the planned expansion for the next 10 years, under an enterprise zone agreement approved by city council on Thursday.
Nissen president Shawn Hendrix told council members the plastics injection company anticipates increased sales to its major customer, Honda of America, beginning in April. As a result, Nissen will spend $3.8 to $4.5 million to add two wings and a new 2,000-ton injection press at the East High Street location.
Nissen will begin the six-month construction project in January, pending additional agreement approvals by London City Schools and Tolles Career & Technical Center.
In addition to the 21 new positions, the company agreed to retain its current roster of 231 full-time employees. Fifty-six temporary jobs will also remain in place.
Growth will increase Nissen’s payroll by $414,960 annually. That increase means more income tax in London’s coffers.
Nissan’s plan was the good news at Thursday’s council meeting.
The bad news: the city will winterize, then shut down the former London Primary School Building at High and Walnut streets due to a faulty heating system.
Safety-service director Steve Hume said leaks in crawl space pipes that carry steam heat throughout the building led to excessive water use. He estimated repairs would cost $25,000 to $50,000.
Exercise and karate classes currently meeting in the building have the option of transferring to the nearby London Community Center. The building will re-open for summer use. However, it is not air conditioned, Hume noted.
The city acquired the primary building, community center and other former central campus structures in a land exchange with the school district.