October 22, 2014
Our view

Competitive Machining and city can find common ground

Posted 2/25/09

To completely revoke Competitive Machining’s Industrial Facility Tax abatement cold possibly be the last blow to a business that seems like it could get back on its feet with a little help from lenders. It could cause eight more people to join the ranks of the unemployed in Arenac County and shut the doors of a business in the Industrial Park.

What’s the City of Standish to do? It, along with the county, Standish-Sterling Schools District and the Bay Arenac Intermediate School District could use the other half of the funds it hasn’t collected due to the IFT, but would it really be worth possibly causing more job loss?

Of course, how many other businesses receiving IFT’s would follow if Competitive Machining were allowed to keep its tax break even though the contract was breached last November? No one wants to see a lineup of business owners with their hands up, which is why you can’t be angry at Councilman Mark Winslow for being worried about starting a bad precedent.

But some common ground must be found to keep the people working at their jobs and to give the shop a chance to recall some people who have been laid off.

Perhaps Standish City Council, which is no doubt in a tough spot no matter what they decide, could cancel the last two years of the shop’s IFT. This way, it could technically withdraw the IFT, maintaining its side of the contract, but it would do so with flexibility, passing over the collection of the abatement from the past ten years, a time frame in which Competitive Machining stuck to its side of the contract laid out in the IFT deal.

This issue should be decided at the next meeting of the Standish City Council. Hopefully, everyone involved, including representatives from the county, school and BAISD; and employees of Competitive Machining are in attendance. The more relevant voices heard, the better the compromise that can be reached.

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