An Ideal Situation

May 7, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners will hold public hearings next week on two requests made by the Ideal Printing Co.

One would have the city issue up to $3.5 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds on behalf of Ideal Printing, which would use the bond proceeds to buy three new machines including a six-color, 40-inch printing press.

A 1963 state law, Public Act 62, lets the city issue the industrial bonds for the printing company through the Michigan Department of Treasury. If the city elects to do that, it will not have an obligation to the bond buyers. The estimated interest rate is 3.8 percent.

“Nothing is being abated in PA62,” said Kara Wood, city economic development director.

The other request is for a personal property tax exemption for the purchases. If the city approves the exemption, half the personal property tax — which has been estimated at $240,000 over 12 years — would be abated for that length of time.

Ideal Printing President Dan Goris said the new machines are necessary to upgrade the business, expand sales and become more productive in the highly competitive graphic arts industry. Adding the new equipment will mean the firm’s 54 jobs will be retained and three new ones will be created over the next two years.

Albert Maine, father of retired Davenport University Chancellor Donald Maine, started Ideal Printing in 1956 and sold the business to Goris in the early 1980s. Custom Printers merged with Ideal Printing last November.

“These investments will be at the Custom site and not the Ideal site,” said Goris, who thought the company’s total investment would be $3.25 million.

Custom Printers is at 2801 Oak Industrial Drive NE.

“These are two great print shops that have become one,” said Walt Gutowski, 1st Ward Commissioner and owner of Swift Printing Co. on the city’s near west side.

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