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2 companies to add 34 jobs in Decatur
Independence Tube to expand; Nucor supplier coming

By Eric Fleischauer 340-2435

Two businesses announced Friday they would add a total of 34 jobs in Decatur.

Independence Tube will begin an $11.5 million expansion of its facility at Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park, adding 29 employees.

Mid-Continent Coal and Coke Co. will build a $1.7 million facility on land leased from Nucor Corp., adding five jobs.

Both companies received tax abatements during a meeting of the Industrial Development Board on Friday.

Independence Tube manufactures structural pipe used as support columns in commercial buildings and vehicles. The expansion allows it to produce 12-inch square tubing and round steel pipe. The company ships the product via barge, rail and truck.

Rick Werner, president of Chicago-based Independence Tube, said Decatur is an attractive site because of its access to transportation and its supply of steel.

"The Southeast is a growing market for us," Werner said. "This is a central location to serve that market."

As a result of the expansion, Independence Tube production will go from one shift to two, and its shipping department will go from one shift to three. Its payroll will increase by $1.3 million.

Some of Independence Tube's steel comes from Nucor. The company hired Fite Building Co., a Decatur contractor, to build its first facility. Werner said Fite would also have an opportunity to build the expansion.

The IDB authorized an annual abatement of city of Decatur taxes of $11,900 for 10 years and a one-time $202,000 abatement of construction-related sales and use taxes. It also authorized an annual abatement of Morgan County taxes of $21,500 a year for 10 years.

The expansion will generate $37,366 in tax revenue a year for Decatur City Schools and $4,600 a year for Morgan County schools. Morgan County will also receive a one-time benefit of $50,600 for construction-related sales and use taxes.

Mid-Continent already sells carbon to Nucor, using trucks to ship it here from the manufacturing site. The expansion permits the company to produce the carbon, from coal, on Nucor's Iverson Boulevard site in Trinity.

Nucor uses the carbon, in rice-sized granules, to remove impurities from its steel.

"We'll bring in the raw material. Then the product is dried and screened," said Birmingham-based sales representative Ben Rankin. "The material is then injected into the furnace."

Mid-Continent's payroll will be about $175,000 a year. The IDB authorized an abatement of $1,200 a year for 10 years in Mid-Continent's annual real- and personal-property taxes, plus a one-time abatement of $21,600 in construction-related sales and use taxes. The expansion will create $3,700 a year in taxes for Decatur City Schools.

The IDB abated $2,200 a year in Morgan County taxes for 10 years. The facility will create $460 a year in taxes for the county, plus one-time taxes of $5,400 for construction-related expenses.

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