Friday, September 7, 2012

UG approves resolution for General Motors expansion


The Unified Government Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support a resolution expressing the intent to issue $120 million worth of industrial revenue bonds for a General Motors expansion plan.

The proposed project is a 400,000-square-foot paint-shop that would be built off of the Fairfax plant.

According to the Unified Government, the project would help ensure the current 3,700 jobs at the Fairfax Plant. There's also the possibility of the creation of additional jobs in the form of new suppliers coming to the area.

General Motors Director of Local Government Relations John Blanchard said the project would be key for the future of not only the plant, but the company as the economy looks to recover.

"This project is a great opportunity for everyone," Blanchard said. "It's a big facility and it's important for us. We're excited about the future of General Motors as the economy continues to recover."

One issue that was a concern for Commissioner Nathan Barnes was the amount of employees at the plant who live in Wyandotte County.

Out of the over 3,700 employees at GM, 515 are Wyandotte County residents.

Despite the low ratio, UG Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon strongly defended the use of the bonds.

"Not all of the employees live in KCK," Reardon said. "But 500 of our citizens find their place of employment at Fairfax. The 500 number is one of the largest in the community."

Should GM go through with the investment - an announcement is expected later in 2012 - it would bring the amount of investments in the plant to over $2 billion in the last decade.