NEW YORK - A Vermont economic development official said a June 20 vote of the board of Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. might determine if the Canadian machinery maker will locate a new plant on 726 acres in the town of Milton, Vt. Dirk Schlimm, Husky director of corporate affairs, declined comment on potential expansion plans. In a telephone interview from Bolton, Ontario, he would not confirm any statement made by the Vermont official.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said Husky, heavily courted by New York, Massachu-setts, North Carolina and other states, nonetheless has secured an option on property in the town near Burlington.
``It's ours to win,'' the official said in a June 4 interview at the Medical Device & Manufacturing East Show in New York.
If the board does not vote at its June 20 meeting, a favorable decision still could come later in the year, the official said. The official described himself as a one-time chief negotiator with Husky.
He said Husky has indicated it initially wants to build a $19 million, 200,000-square-foot operation that specializes in advanced mold fabrication. Later, the firm would add several buildings.
Milton, population 4,000, was one of the first Vermont towns to abolish the state's local-option machinery and equipment gross receipts tax, a device used by a number of towns to tax private-sector improvements and bolster local government coffers. A move by Democratic Gov. Howard Dean to eliminate the tax statewide is stalled in the Legislature.
The disadvantage to Vermont is the state's inability to match other states' tax and financing incentives, the official said.
``Vermont can't win the money game. We're not the low-bid state,'' he said.
According to the official, Husky President Robert Schad is attracted to a Vermont location because of a state law that allows a deductible donation to environmental causes of as much as 5 percent of after-tax income.