Berry Plastics Corp. received unanimous approval Jan. 13 from the Douglas County (Kan.) Commission for its application for $11.7 million in federal recovery zone bonds to be used toward building a new warehouse and distribution facility in Lawrence.
Evansville, Ind.-based Berry operates a plant in Lawrence as part of its PackerWare injection molded and thermoformed packaging business. The plant, which opened in 1968, makes housewares, food containers and drink cups.
In 2006, city officials gave Berry a 90 percent tax abatement on the facility for a three-year, $118 million expansion that included $93 million in new equipment and expanded the Lawrence workforce from about 400 to about 500 people.
Berry Plastics is like the second-biggest employer in Douglas County. In terms of tax abatements, [Berry has] about the best track record you can get in terms of exceeding their promises in investment and hiring, county administrator Craig Weinaug said in a Jan. 14 telephone interview.
Berry officials did not return calls seeking comment. In its application for the funding, the firm said it planned to build a 600,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Lawrence, create 11 new jobs and employ 350 locally in construction work.
Berry also is seeking $9.2 million in similar bonds from the state of Kansas, the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper reported Jan. 14.
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