Council approves tax exemption for Sigma Manufacturing

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 10, 2016

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EASTPOINTE — The Eastpointe City Council unanimously passed an industrial facility tax exemption certificate for Sigma Manufacturing Services during its regular meeting Feb. 2.

The certification for a tax abatement now goes to the State Tax Commission for final approval. If approved, Sigma’s local tax burden would be limited to its existing tax rates, plus half of the increased taxes due to the company’s investment, according to a memo from City Manager Steve Duchane. The other half of the taxes would be abated for 12 years.

Sigma will be required to invest $1.4 million to refurbish its property, as well as create a minimum of 20 jobs.

Sigma International Chief Financial Officer Erik Goerke — Sigma International is the parent company of Sigma Manufacturing — said the property will be a plastic injection mold shop making parts for automotive original equipment manufacturers and other “tier one” companies, which are those that make parts for those OEM companies.

“We have a customer base already,” Goerke said. “They’ve been asking us, ‘How come you don’t have more of a physical presence here in the area?’”

Goerke said they were looking around for property to open a facility in the area, and “as luck would have it,” the company ended up in Eastpointe. He said they were initially looking for something between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet, but the property that Sigma ultimately purchased — a 55,000-square-foot space — leaves the company with room to expand.

The renovation work was about half complete as of the meeting, Goerke said, and was on track to be finished by the end of March, as long as everything goes smoothly. He said the work includes replacing the heating and cooling system and the roof, repainting the walls inside and out, and landscaping.

Jim Ahee, project coordinator with the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, said Sigma is on track to invest $800,000 in the building itself and another $600,000 in new equipment. The company also purchased the property adjacent to the facility so that it has space for future expansion.

“I live in St. Clair Shores, so I’m familiar with what’s going on here,” Ahee said. “Any investment we can get going on in this community (on the south end of Macomb County) is a good one.”

Goerke said the goal is to get 20-22 new machines in the building, from 75-ton presses to 1,500-ton presses.

Sigma Manufacturing purchased the properties, located at 17059 and 17157 E. 10 Mile Road, in the early fall, Department of Public Works Supervisor Joe Merucci told the Eastsider in January.

The 12-year term on the tax abatement is the maximum allowed under state law.

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