Update: Alderman Shields was the only council member to vote against the American Tire and Recycling proposal Tuesday night. The full council approved the $39,600 incentive for the company.
Original post: Alderman Michael Shields wants the City Council to hold off on approving a deal that would help American Tire and Recycling, based in Niagara, Wis., to open a plant at a trucking depot in Racine.
Shields said he wants to ask more questions about the company, which plans to recycle tires into fuel for power plants and surfaces for playgrounds. The plant/distribution site is expected to create as many as 88 jobs at 2301 S. Memorial Drive.
The City Council's Finance and Personnel Committee voted last week to pay American Tire and Recycling's rent for its first 18 months in Racine. The incentive amounts to $39,600; in exchange, the company has agreed to give Racine residents preference for the jobs.
Shields said he wants Keary Ecklund, owner of American Tire & Recycling, to answer the same questions local developers have had to answer about their projects. Ecklund has yet to appear before a city committee.
"Everybody should be treated and evaluated the same way," Shields said, adding about Ecklund: "I think it's very strange he hasn't shown up."
Shields said he had questions about Ecklund's background, which includes a handful of court cases. Ecklund was the owner of a failed indoor football league and had a tax warrant filed against him by the state in 2005. The last court case involving Ecklund was filed in 2007, according to state records.
Shields handed out a packet of information at the meeting detailing court cases
The City Council will consider the incentive for American Tire and Recycling at its meeting tonight.