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The Columbus City Council last week approved a tax abatement for Original Bradford Soap Works Inc., which is planning a $1.2 million expansion and the addition of 22 employees at its International Drive plant.
The company plans to add equipment that will allow it to operate a fourth production line, plant manager Tim Johns said.
“Bradford Soap Works, as a whole, is the world’s leading manufacturer of specialty bar soaps,” Johns said.
The company produces soap and personal hygiene products on contract for companies such as Unilever and produces soap brands such as Dove and Caress and Walmart’s Equate, he said. The company has been expanding rapidly, adding
25 employees already and starting a fourth shift, he said.
“We have four 12-hour shifts working a rotation with two days on and three days off,” Johns said. “We are running seven days a week.”
The fourth shift increased the plant capacity by 30 percent, and adding the fourth production line will increase capacity by 25 percent, Johns said.
The company bought its 40,000-square-foot production facility when it acquired Hewitt Soap Co. in 2003. The Columbus plant is the company’s third production facility, including plants in West Warwick, R.I, and Mexicali, Mexico. It employs 96 local workers and more than 700 worldwide, according to Johns. The company also operates distribution and warehousing operations in California, he said.
The council approved a
10-year tax abatement, which allows the company to phase in property taxes over the life of the abatement. The company paid $28,889 in property taxes this year, according to its application.
Meanwhile, council member Dascal Bunch said he would like the council to discuss and consider approving a tax-increment financing district in the East Columbus neighborhood along State Street.
He said the development tool would allow the city to target development funds in that area of the community.
City Attorney Jeff Logston said tax-increment financing districts require approval by four government bodies: Economic Development Commission, Plan Commission, Redevelopment Commission and City Council.
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