JOLIET – Ecolab plans to expand production capacity at its Joliet plant.
Joliet is considering an expansion of the Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone to include the Ecolab plant, which would provide the company with an exemption for state sales tax on machinery purchased in the project.
Ecolab makes cleaning products at the 610,000-square-foot plant on Route 6 that borders the enterprise zone. It is the largest factory operated by the global company based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“Stuff is made there that goes around the world, but they primarily service 13 to 14 states,” Joliet Economic Development director Steve Jones told the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee on Thursday.
The committee recommended approval of an enterprise zone expansion to also include the Rock Run Crossings project, a 260-acre retail, office and residential development planned by Cullinan Properties at Interstates 55 and 80.
The enterprise zone also provides an exemption on state sales taxes on building materials, which would be an incentive for the construction of Rock Run Crossings, Jones said.
The expansion eventually must also be approved by the full Joliet City Council and other communities along the enterprise zone, which include Will County, Lockport, Romeoville and Rockdale. Jones said the expansion has support from the enterprise zone board that has representatives from those communities.
Economic Development Committee Chairman Larry Hug noted that the incentives provided by the enterprise zone do not include local taxes.
The incentives also include exemptions on state utility taxes for electricity and natural gas.
Ecolab employs 439 people at the Joliet plant, Jones said. The company would add to its Joliet sales staff as production capacity is increased, he said..
The company expects to spend between $12 million and $15 million on the plant this year and anywhere from $10 million to $20 million in 2018, Jones said.
A spokeswoman for Ecolab confirmed the company plans to increase production capacity and efficiency in 2017 and 2018.
The Joliet plant opened in 1972. Ecolab also has a Joliet distribution center, which opened in 2016 in the Rock Run Business Park.