Marion Common Council Tuesday approved an approximately $630,000 tax abatement for Agricor, Inc. as part of a $10 million expansion at the Marion business.

According to a statement of benefits, Agricor, located at 1626 S. Joaquin Drive, is planning $1.9 million worth of construction or renovation of a feed mill building and corn bins and is also investing $8 million in equipment upgrades to extrusion, feed collection and processing, food defense, silencing, sanitation and lab equipment, conveyors, cameras, forklifts, metal detectors and computers.

Work on the improvements are set to begin Aug. 1 and are estimated to be completed by Aug. 1, 2024, documents state, and the company estimates it will create six new jobs and $360,000 of additional salary. Agricor currently employs 69 people with annual salaries of $4.4 million.

Agricor sought a 100 percent abatement on the increased assessed value of the real estate improvements for the first year and then a 90 percent abatement for the next nine years after that. The company also sought a 100 percent abatement on the new equipment personal property taxes over a five-year period.

Council approved the abatement 8-0, with Councilman Don Batchelor absent. The statement of benefits states Agricor will save a total of $632,143 over the life of the abatement, including $328,318 in real property taxes and $303,825 in personal property taxes.

Agricor President Brian Anderson told council the company is now a part of Grain Millers, the biggest oat miller in North America, which produces most non-Quaker oat products found in stores such as cereals, oatmeals and oat milk. Outside of oats, corn, flaxseed and ancient grains are the company’s major staples, Anderson said.

Anderson said Marion is one of the best ag labor markets he has seen over his more than 30-year career operating in North America, Europe and Africa, evidenced by the current safety record of almost 550 days without an accident at Agricor in Marion.

“We really, truly enjoy operating in Marion,” he said. “I can speak from my 12 months [here], but I can also give our owners’ appreciation. It’s a good fit, and we’ve loved it. We keep expanding ag jobs in this area.”

Councilman Brian Cowgill commended Agricor for staying committed to Marion and also noted that the majority of its employees are Marion residents as well. Anderson said he has scheduled a tour of the facility with council members in the coming weeks.
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