An Illinois-based manufacturer is more than doubling its presence in Huntsville.
During the Huntsville City Council meeting on Thursday, the council unanimously voted to approve a deal that paves the way for Navistar to make a capital investment of $125 million into building a new facility.
The location of Navistar's new manufacturing facility, according to its agreement with the City of Huntsville.
The new manufacturing facility will cover 51 acres and will add, both to the current facility and the new one, "at least 145 net new full-time equivalent employees...for a total of at least 271 full-time equivalent employees. The average wage for salaried employees "will be at least $70,240" and the average annual wage for hourly employees "shall be at least $35,300."
In the agreement, Navistar said that it"undertook a national site selection process to identify an appropriate venue for the development and location of its engine manufacturing operations, and to identify an appropriate venue for the development and location of its gear box manufacturing operations."
The company considered proposals from "several local governments throughout the country" before deciding it would develop a new facility at its current property site in Huntsville. It currently has a location on Short Pike Road in Huntsville.
In order to recruit Navistar to stay and expand in Huntsville, the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority (HMCAA) "is willing to reimburse (Navistar) $15,000 per acre of the amount (Navistar) pays for the New Site." It will also grant Navistar a ten-year tax abatement.
As part of it's obligation, the City of Huntsville is required to "apply for, and use all commercially reasonable efforts to receive, an industrial access grant of not less than $600,000 from the Alabama Department of Transportation...for the construction of access roadway improvements."
Huntsville Councilman Bill Kling told WAAY 31 that Navistar has not stated when they will break ground on the new facility, but according to the agreement, construction needs to begin "by not later than December 1, 2020." Construction needs to be completed "by December 31, 2021" and Navistar needs to start operations "by not later than September 1, 2022."
If an unforeseen event (a "Force Majeure Event) occurs, the agreement states "each deadline shall be extended by one day to address such condition before (Navistar) shall be considered in defalt...in no event shall any deadline be extended by more than 365 days."
The new facility would be built adjacent to its current facility on Short Pike Road. The site of the new facility is part of Lot 1 of the Jetplex Industrial Park-North, which is controlled by the HMCAA.