City Supports Oliver Purchase

September 6, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners unanimously awarded Oliver Products Co. a 12-year tax abatement last week.

Oliver Products, at

445 Sixth St. NW
, plans to spend $3.8 million on new production equipment for its medical packaging business — a market the company has served for more than three decades. Oliver also makes medical devices, along with packaging materials for the medical, food and industrial industries.

The action commissioners took will abate $203,000 of the $509,000 tax the purchase would normally have entailed. Those taxes will be abated over the next dozen years.

"They will create 15 new jobs, and it's my understanding that these are good-paying jobs," Mayor George Heartwell said of Oliver Products.

Second Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala said those new jobs will give the city from $36,000 to $54,000 in new income taxes over the length of the abatement.

Oliver currently employs 240 workers and has been in business for 110 years.

"They adapt to the changing market and are innovative," said Roy Schmidt, 1st Ward commissioner, of Oliver Products. "It's good they're staying in Grand Rapids."    

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