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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 3, 202005:10 AM EST

Commercial Metals seeks incentives to stay in Jacksonville

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The city will consider a $450,000 grant for the manufacturer to invest $30 million and retain 250 jobs.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

City economic development officials want to waive public investment policy rules to keep Commercial Metals Company in Jacksonville.

The Office of Economic Development plans to file legislation with City Council to offer $450,000 in financial incentives to the rebar and wire rod manufacturer, which is considering shifting production to its facilities outside Florida. 

Office of Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland said in a memo and project summary that a Recaptured Enhanced Value grant would be used to retain CMC Steel US LLC’s  250 Jacksonville employees. The memo states the annual payroll for CMC Steel’s is $20 million, excluding benefits.

CMC Steel is a subsidiary of Commercial Metals.

City policy requires the company to create at least 10 jobs to be considered for a REV grant. CMC Steel does not propose adding jobs.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee unanimously approved the request Jan. 27, allowing the bill to be filed at Council’s Feb. 11 meeting. The investment policy waiver will be attached to the legislation. 

The manufacturer says it will invest $30 million over five years at its 16770 Rebar Road facility for real estate improvements, equipment and machinery. The REV grant would refund 50% of the increase of the facility’s property taxes over that time.

Commercial Metals of Irving, Texas, bought the mill from Gerdau Jacksonville Ameristeel in December 2018 as part of its acquisition of 33 rebar fabrication facilities in the United States and steel mills in Knoxville, Tennessee; Sayreville, New Jersey; and Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Commercial Metals bought the properties for $600 million. The Jacksonville property was sold for $11.8 million.

City officials said the manufacturer is evaluating its facilities in South Carolina, Texas and Alabama for the investment. 

Wendland told MBRC members Jan. 27 that CMC Steel is JEA’s largest single-site customer. 

CMC Steel paid the utility $19.89 million for electric usage in 2017 and $18.7 million in 2018, according to a summary provided by JEA in August.  The company is third in energy purchases from JEA only to the U.S. Navy and the city. 

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