It's looking more and more like Mayor John Dickert is going to deliver his first new major employer to Racine.
American Tire and Recycling is close to a deal to move into 2301 S. Memorial Drive, where it will collect old tires, cut them apart and send the products to its processing plant in Niagara, Wis. (located on the Wisconsin-Michigan border).
The Racine operation will employ up to 88 people over three shifts, according to City Development Director Brian O'Connell. If approved by the City Council, operations would start in the first quarter of next year, he said.
The building on Memorial Drive is perfect for the operation. It will serve as a transfer point for old tires collected within a 100-mile radius. Trucks will carry the tires in, drop them off to run through a machine that will separate the side walls from the treads, and then another set of trucks will drive them to Niagara.
The company has a similar operation going in New London, Wis. that's having success, O'Connell said.
The Redevelopment Authority reviewed a proposed deal to use sewer revenue money to pay American Tire's lease for 18 months to help the company get established. The deal would cost $39,600, O'Connell said. It also includes a clause requiring American Tire to hire its employees form the city of Racine, which has the second highest unemployment rate in the state.
RDA member Pete Karas asked about the environmental impact of the business. O'Connell said it would be minimal, with no piles of tires or really any waste product left behind.
The RDA unanimously approved the deal for American Tire.
It was the second bit of good news for the company this week. On Tuesday night, the Niagara City Council voted to allow American Tire to setup its recycling operation at a former paper plant.