New manufacturing plant to open here


    City commissioners welcomed a new manufacturer to the northeast side of Grand Rapids last week by awarding the fledgling business an industrial tax exemption.

    Uniband USA LLC, owned by Franco Milco Marchetti, is getting ready to begin operations at 2555 Oak Industrial Drive NE. The company will make conveyor belts for grocery store checkout lanes.

    City Economic Development Director Kara Wood said Marchetti is a former engineer for an Italian manufacturer and fabricator of solid woven and mono-filament conveyor belts and accessories. He bought a 200-foot-long conveyor belt coating production line in Italy and brought it here. Wood said the equipment Marchetti purchased has an estimated personal property value of $1.7 million.

    The exemption Uniband received from the city will abate half of the company’s personal property tax of $20,416 each year for the next dozen years. The city’s abated share is $3,593. However, the income-tax receipts from the company to the city are expected to be $3,120 annually. 

    “We should be very thankful that Mr. Marchetti is investing here,” said Wood.

    The state still has to approve the exemption, but that process is routinely a formality.

    Within two years, Uniband plans to have 10 employees working at its plant at an average hourly wage of $15 and fringe benefits.

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