ConAgra planning expansion with 100 news jobs estimated

By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy City Council on Monday approved an application to allow ConAgra Foods to participate in the city’s Employee Creation Incentive Program with ConAgra’s planned expansion project.

ConAgra is planning a 15,000-square-foot expansion that will create 100 new jobs, according to the city of Troy. The expansion project commits $4 million in annual payroll with an average hourly rate of $20.19. The estimated capital investment is approximately $61 million.

The city’s Employee Creation Incentive Program offers a rebate of a percentage of the payroll tax the city collects back to the employer. The city recommended the maximum six-year payroll withholding rebate.

“The company’s estimated payroll should generate income tax of approximately $74,000 annually, resulting in an annual rebate of approximately $18,300 for six years,” said John Schweser, third ward council member. “This is a net positive for the city.”

Also on Monday, the council held a first reading for an ordinance proposing changes to the subdivision regulations of the city’s codified ordinances. The goal of the proposed amendments is to clarify regulations to make them more user-friendly and have word/term consistency.

Jeffrey Schilling, sixth ward council member, questioned the wording in section 1111.01, subsection “e,” which falls under the purpose of the regulations. It states the regulations are adopted to secure and provide for “(technically) feasible and economically reasonable standards to help achieve a higher level of subdivision design and construction in order to prevent degradation of natural resources and promote and maintain the public health, safety, comfort, morals, convenience, and general welfare of persons living and working in the City.”

Schilling objected to the word “morals” in that section, which was not one of the revisions included in this ordinance and was already included in the past regulations.

“The question I have is on ‘morals.’ Are we interested in regulating the morals of the residents of the subdivisions?” Schilling asked. He asked how the city plans to define morals in this section.

City Law Director Grant Kerber said that line was an “aspirational type” explaining why the city is regulating the development of subdivisions.

“It’s just stating why the city is doing it,” Kerber said. “I’m not aware of any criteria contained in there that addresses morals.”

The council attempted to suspend the three-reading rule for this ordinance. Schilling voted against suspending the three-reading rule, so with a lack of a super majority, the ordinance will go on to an additional reading.

Schilling also made a motion to amend the ordinance to remove the word “morals,” and his motion failed for lack of support.

The council also approved the creation of a fund in the city’s budget to track the revenue and expenditures associated with the Robinson Reserve at Duke Park.

Council member Lynne Snee and Jeffrey Whidden were absent on Monday.

At the end of the meeting on Monday, the council members, city staff, and Mayor Robin Oda recognized outgoing members Schweser and John Terwilliger, second ward council member. They received plaques and their council name plates.

“It’s just a great community,” Schweser said, complimenting the city of Troy and the amenities it has. “It’s been a pleasure to serve.”

“I’m glad that I did it,” Terwilliger said, explaining his service on the board was an “experiment” during his retirement. “I thank you for the opportunity to serve.”

Incoming council members include Kristie Marshall and Samuel J. Pierce.