BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
The Vermilion County Board approved resolutions freeing up millions in federal funds for a local manufacturer.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve resolutions designating all of Vermilion County as a recovery zone under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 and rewarding $4.1 million in bonds to the Presta Division of ThyssenKrupp.
Economic officials — Vermilion Advantage President and CEO Vicki Haugen and Andy Hamilton of the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority — joined ThyssenKrupp financial director Andy Wagner to answer questions.
Wagner said the money will go toward what he termed a “growth phase” for the company. Haugen said on Friday that the money could result in as many as 100 jobs for the county, but Wagner told board members Tuesday he could not specify the number of jobs.
Wagner said the bonds are a large piece of the total growth phase that will help them save as much as $80,000. The growth phase, according to paperwork included with the county resolutions, calls for the Presta Division of ThyssenKrupp in Danville to expand its existing manufacturing facility, which creates camshafts and grinders for the automotive industry.
Wagner said at the meeting that the Presta Division of ThyssenKrupp had added more than 100 jobs during its most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.
The $4.1 million in recovery zone bonds is Vermilion County’s cut of $1 billion issued to the state of Illinois through stimulus funds.
Hamilton said Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority, through the county’s approval of the resolution, is able to issue bonds on behalf of ThyssenKrupp in order to allow it to borrow funds at a lower than conventional interest rate.
He pointed out that the bonds had to be used by Dec. 31, adding it was unknown if Congress would extend that deadline.
The Presta Division at ThyssenKrupp has been in Danville since 1993. It has seen several expansions since that time.