December 2, 2009

American Tire and Recycling closer to delivering jobs to Racine

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.


  1. If Dickers behind this with O'Connell something is not right.

  2. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! THIS IS SO-O-O-O-O WRONG!!!!!!

  3. If we aren't using sewer revenues for the sewers, why are we paying them?

  4. Bearded Pete and Dustin's obsession with trying to make Johnny look good continues....Sigh............Ho hum.......ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  5. The sewer agreement is a document that the suburbs pay the city for water plant expansion. Without the agreement, Mt Pleasant, Caledonia, and Sturtevant would not have access to water for growth. The city played hard ball and the revenue is used for the library and zoo, as well as projects like this. This is a perfect use of that money. $40K for 88 jobs is nothing, especially as the money comes from the burbs not the city. The company could get 40k from just about any municipality, but has picked ours. In your mind, can the city do anything right? Congrats to us for this important first step back.

  6. I wonder what will happen to the steel in every tire and what about all the nylon. There are byproducts from this type of recycling and if not handled properly can be an environmental problem.

  7. Graham - I thought fat cat republicans like subsidizing business?

  8. "If we aren't using sewer revenues for the sewers, why are we paying them?"

    More idiot bloggers shooting off their mouths without getting the facts.

  9. Am I the only person in this God forsaken town that doesn't think that htey will create 88 local jobs! It will take six to ten $8 employees to do what they do. I think the rest are out of town truckers they wont help our local economy people! Great job vetting John you are such a DWEEB!

  10. Fight the power fight the power fight Little Gary Becker Fight Dickert and O'Connell. If not we will be renaming Racine, little Detroit

  11. I agree with the very few jobs and I hate to be all negative but this company does not even have a website or many references on google. Seems kinda fly by night, here today gone tomorrow.

    Almost like "Pizza's By Marchelloni"

  12. Girl in Green12/02/2009 9:42 PM

    "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."

    This is a regulated process. The DNR needs to approve their operating plan and issue a permit. If they plan to start operation in the first quarter next year this process should be nearly complete. If Mr. Karas is asking about environmental impacts, that information should be addressed in the DNR process.

    Hopefully, their DNR applications and plans were included in their proposal to the RDA.

  13. Anon 9:05:

    How many tires are within 100 miles of Racine? Maybe 8M people or more. How many tires do you have? How many commercial vehicles are there?

    So not only is every politician an idiot, so are the lawyers that write the agreements? Somehow you know better how many employees it will take to process those tires?

  14. Are the emploees represented?

  15. As citizens of Racine we should band together and stop the dispursement our tax funds to businesses that pay minumum wage. We also need to remove from office the following: John Dickert, David Maack, Greg Helding, Q.A. Shakoor, Jim Spangenberg, Robert Mozol. These individuals do nothing for our great city yet pad their pockets with corporate kick backs and schemes. The time has come poeple revolution is now!

  16. If we become Detroit, will Spangenberg be called the "King of West Detroit"?

  17. 6:57, Chill out on the coffee!

  18. We need money to come here, we're going to hire some people, we need more money to hire more people, we need more money to keep the people we hired and to hire more people, if you don't give us more money we'll close and this will hurt your economic development plans, see ya. . .

  19. 6:57

    Agree with most of your list John Dickert, David Maack, Greg Helding, Q.A. Shakoor, have got to go. WE should start the recall effort after Xmas.

  20. The true colors of conservatives shining through. Essentially a tax break for a business, which is what they have been saying is the only thing that can save this city. It comes, and they complain.

    Just more proof that conservatives are worthless when it comes to the improvement of this town. Their lives suck and all they want to do is complain about how bad every one else's solutions are - even ones that they said they support!

  21. Conservatives want tax breaks for all businesses, not just the bad ones. We wouldn't have to give away the farm everytime if we had a better tax climate.

  22. Anon 7:43,

    If you feel that way, start the ball rolling! Get organized! Make it happen! Are you willing to work at it or continue to complain to other bitter people on line?

    At minimum, you should join a city committee and try to work with people who have stepped away from the keyboard into the committee room to do real good. Maybe they don't always make everyone happy, but they try. You don't offer better answers just spew more bitterness. It is sad.

  23. "At minimum, you should join a city committee and try to work with people who have stepped away from the keyboard into the committee room to do real good."

    Then I could watse REAL (uncompensated) time working and sharing ideas with people who will never listen. At least spewing "hate" at a keyboard only takes a few seconds.

  24. Anon 9:20,

    You are selling your contribution short. Clearly with the wisdom you espouse, we could land lots of jobs and raise property values, better than the people currently in place.

    If your tax rate went down or property value went up, you would have been compensated, we all would, and it would be because of you.

    What committee are you willing to join? Or what are you willing to do to make it better otherwise?

  25. Anon 8:36, it goes to show just how out of touch and illiterate you are when it comes to understanding conservatives. Conservatives want government OUT of our lives. The free enterprise system is built on competition and survival of the fittest and fairest. When government intercedes, like the idiots in city hall are doing, they remove the "fittest" part from the system. If the company coming in can't pay its own way, then it is not fit enough to open and maintain a business. It is not the taxpayer's responsibility to set anyone up in business, and certainly not to pay their operating expenses.

    Tax incentives are a totally different thing. There is no "out-of-pocket" expense to the city. But, there is the advantage of enticing a business to open and provide, say, 50% of the taxes they would normally pay, for a limited time, as opposed to having no tax income ever by not offering the incentive. Conservatives do not want government subsidizing businesses. What we want is less of a tax burden on businesses (all around) so that they can use that money to expand and hire more people, which in turn expands the tax base through income taxes. Would you rather have higher taxes on a business or allow it to employ more people?

    Anon 8:28 is another example of a liberal who has no understanding of what conservatives are all about. HIS true colors are showing here. All he can do is spew hate, with no understanding of what conservatives are really all about. He knows nothing of our lives, yet professes that our lives suck. He also does not understand the difference between tax incentives and out-of-pocket expenses to pay for something government has no business involving itself in. What a jerk.

  26. Financial deregulation happened so the market could function purely in the late 1990s (at the behest of conservatives). That ran wild for a while resulting in the deepest and most painful financial collapse since '29.

    Graham, the market was freed to work. How do you (in your infinite conservatism) reconcile this crash with your philosophy?

  27. Anon 9:55 - I have decided that the best use of my time is to try to build a business without working with or through local government. When the fruits of that effort appear, jobs (I hope) and tax revenue for the City will be the result. I don't have friends I can hit up for a TIF or some other "special" consideration.

    Your comment about performing economic development activities "better than the people currently in place" has been my point for quite sometime. How much does Racine spend on economic developers, corridor development experts, etc.? Now we're getting a tire recycler that only exists because of government handouts and a government-subsidized tire procurement system. So for - just a guess - millions a year all-told in salaries we get this. In the end, it is all rationalized - "it is a poor economy, what do you expect"? THEN WHY PAY ALL THESE PEOPLE????

  28. Sorry - "some time" not "sometime".

  29. Graham is hilarious.

    OK, let's blame the government for unemployment being high. The root cause of their issue is spending and not enough tax breaks to business. OK.

    Then let the government spend some money via incentives and you complain about corporate welfare. The city tries to do something to bring in jobs (and surprise! it costs money).

    In a conservative world, nobody ever wins. The government is to blame for all of your problems and then when they try to bring in jobs using techniques conservatives used to endorse like targeted spending or tax incentives then they are evil for spending that money.

    So in Graham's world, Racine does not spend the money and we have less jobs because he didn't feel this company was fit to exist if it can't exist without incentives, but the cure to our economic issues are not enough incentives.

    Nobody can understand conservatives because they are constantly contradicting themselves.

  30. The government and state will be running out of money to throw away in no time. They are already hurting and will be even worse when people don't pay property taxes because there broke.These might be good jobs for them city employes.

  31. This place sounds like a scrap yard. I have some copper gutters I stole from a church. How much are they payin per pound? I got an old tire iron too.

  32. Graham,

    A tax incentive IS spending. I don't what planet you're living on where magically it doesn't count.

    Your free market argument only makes sense if everyone is following the rules. They don't. Goverments compete for companies and jobs. Racine competes against everyone else. One instrument is tax incentives, another is low rate loans, another is free land, another is property tax relief, etc, etc.

    All of it is spending and government intervention. You may not like it, but while you go in the corner and cry about the way it should be, I'll congratulate our officials for dealing with the way it is and using incentive packages to bring in JOBS.

  33. A tax incentive IS spending. HOW IS IT SPENDING? you must be one of the fools that thought the millions of dollars Film Wisconsin brought it was not worth it and that The State needed every dime in taxes it could get. So now many film jobs are gone from Wisconsin and moved to other states.
    THe issue with ART is that the City of Racine Mayor and Staff like O'Connell and not be believed nor can ATR be held to account if they do not bring the jobs.
    THe Film companies had to spend a great deal of money before they got one cent back.

  34. Are you suggesting tax incentives are free?

    Are they sent down to us from the clouds in magical rainbows?

  35. Conservatives biggest enemy: basic math

    Always challenge these morons on the basics when they say stupid stuff like tax cut.

    Here's what these masters of the economy want to turn down:

    Let's assume a bad scenario. 40 jobs created at $8/hour - all employed with Racine residents (2nd highest unemployment rate mind you). Racine resident requirement was a stated part of the deal listed in the article.

    Conservatives are unwilling to part with the $40,000 in return for:

    40 jobs times 40 hours per week times $8/hour

    Grand Total: $665,600 in wages annually that go to Racine, WI families that are out of work.

    A great deal of those wages will probably be spent in the city itself at local businesses.

    So conservatives want to keep their $40k because they think it is a bad deal in exchange for $665,600 in wages (in the worst case scenario) that will in large part be spent at local Racine businesses.

    Now that's genius. Way to go you conservative mensa award winning whiners.

    $40k is like what....50 cents per Racine resident? Everyone chips in 50 cents and we get up to 88 jobs.

    You're right conservatives, that is the most stupid thing Racine could do. I want to keep my 50 cents and high unemployment.

  36. Anon 5:11

    AMEN! I especially liked the mensa comment. Thanks for the LOL

  37. On behalf of all "Conservatives" I would like to take the time to let all the "Liberals" posting on this site know, that when the smoke clears, and all is revealed, we will have the last laugh. All the mensa comments will be meaningless as you Mayoral hero John Dickert has to start explaining things.

  38. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  39. Graham -

    Calm down and think a bit. There is no practical difference between a tax incentive and a grant. Both do the same thing - put money into a business.

    By the way, the city cannot give the business a tax discount - it is against state law. They can either get a grant or a TIF district and TIF money can only go for qualified things. Maybe you should educate yourself and you would be less angry.

  40. Anon 4:06, the one thing you omit in your list is government paying for a businesses operating expenses. That is my complaint. Why should we pay the operating expenses for some loser who can't do it himself instead of opening this business municipally and having all of the profits coming back to the city? Better for the city to be in the business and reap the rewards than to hand taxpayer dollars over to a private concern.

    I don't understand how someone can be so ignorant as to not understand how wrong it is for government to expect taxpayers to pay a businesses OPERATING EXPENSES. That is not a LOAN or a TAX BREAK! It's a bail-in (a grant that is robbing money from an unrelated fund).

    Yes, a tax incentive is spending, but it is not out-of-pocket spending of money that the taxpayers/city can not afford. DUH!

    WHAT PART OF OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE (money we don't have and can't afford to spend) DON'T YOU LIBERAL JACKASSES UNDERSTAND!!!!

  41. OK Graham,

    So now you want the city of Racine to start up a Tire Recycling facility?

    How does that jive with get Government out of our lives? You're proposing a solution that you don't even agree with, nor do any of your conservative counterparts.

    And how does that jive with the criticism that the city is doing nothing to attract business. Newsflash - it doesn't.

    Face it - you don't actually care about any of that (proven by the fact that none of your arguments either make sense or are consistent with your ideology). You just hate government period. Nothing they ever do will ever be good enough for Graham and his Conservative Racine haters.

    Liberals have a message right back to you: Shove it. We're the only ones trying to do anything positive around here and your infant like crying about any and everything is old.

  42. Graham, still waiting to find out what you are going to do to make it better for us all.

    Did I miss it? What office will you run for? What committee will you join?

  43. Before he runs, he and the Racine Conservatives needs a platform.

    So far it is that the city is out of money and can't spend any more...unless the spending is in the form of a tax cut (but shhh...don't dare call it an incentive or anything else....only the words tax cut are approved). By the way, tax cuts don't cost any money.

    He also wants more jobs but doesn't want Racine to compete to get them.

    He actually thinks that $40,000 is worth more than $650,000.

    What else....well, he probably believes that humans can do nothing to the climate. Whatever we do to it means nothing.

    Graham and Racine Conservatives 2010!

  44. Do you smell rubber burning, I do. Wonder where it's coming from.

  45. I do definately smell something stinky.

  46. I have had dealings with the CEO of American Tire & Recycling,Kerry Eklund.He is also the owner of Keweenaw Scrap Tire & Metal.He means well,however,is looking for hand-outs.He knows how to dodge bullets,and manipulate the public relations machine.The cities of Racine and Niagara need to consult with the Michigan D.E.Q.,Calumet(MI)Township,Houghton(MI)County.Ask about revolving loans,development block grants and loans.How many were paid back? Why did Kerry pack-up his shredder operation in MI and move to WI?

  47. American Tire&Recycling doesn't seem to be an efficient operation,refering to the plan to ship tire parts to/from Niagara/Racine.Anyone in the recycling industry can tell yopu that the more you move products/by-products around,the more costs accrue.If all they plan to do is make T.D.F.(tire derived fuel),they'll not last very long.T.D.F. is a low-grade product that sells for $20 to $50 per ton.Real tire recyclers furthur refine tire shred to such products that command a premium on the recycled rubber market(crumb rubber,playground surfacing).As one who is heavily involved in the tire recycling industry,I think American Tire Recycling is a company looking to operate with other peoples money to benefit company shareholders.This has happened before.

  48. The smell is getting stinkier by the minute.

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