Goodyear seeks Town’s help to expand Napanee tire factory

Goodyear’s Napanee factory is seeking to expand, an item that will come before Greater Napanee Town Council on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell.

Goodyear Canada Inc. has applied for a Tax Increment Equivalent grant (TIEG) under the Town of Greater Napanee’s Industrial Community Improvement Plan (CIP) in hopes of expanding its current factory by an additional 420,000 square feet.

According to a staff report to be presented to the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, the expansion is intended to establish Goodyear Canada Inc. as a supplier of choice for Electric Vehicle (EV) tire solutions to enhance the drivability and range of EVs. If the grant application is successful, Goodyear Canada Inc. “will invest in innovative technology and capabilities to ensure the Napanee plant can manufacture tires that meet the requirements of this innovative and evolving market.”

Goodyear Canada Inc.’s project budget is anticipated to exceed $550 million to support the expansion, the report notes. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, Council adopted Bylaw No. 2023-0077 to establish an Industrial Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Town. The CIP is a planning and economic development tool that sets out a framework to assist in community revitalization and in achieving community planning and development goals. According to the report by Michael Nobes, General Manager of Growth & Expansion Services for the Town of Greater Napanee, “the CIP aids industrial development by providing partial relief from the Municipal portion of the total taxes owing during start-up of operations — a critical stage for success.”

Goodyear Canada Inc., a subsidiary of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, owns and operates the facility, which is located at 388 Goodyear Road. It currently consists of an 830,000-square-foot manufacturing, warehousing, and office facility, and employs 800 full-time employees manufacturing and selling tires for light-duty vehicles. 

Along with cementing these 800 jobs, the expansion project seeks to provide broad-based economic benefits, according to the report. This includes increasing annual production by two million tires per year, creating 200 highly skilled direct full-time jobs (trades-based, technical, and engineering roles), and supporting the creation of an additional 400 indirect jobs. It also aims to increase purchasing from Canadian suppliers by 65 per cent from $224 million to $346 million in 2030.

According to Nobes’ report, the application and supporting materials meet the requirements of the Town’s CIP, with a construction valuation of $10 million or greater and resulting in a minimum of 25 full-time permanent jobs created. Further, the County of Lennox and Addington may decide to participate by offering a similar incentive for the County portion of the total taxes paid. 

In the report, Nobes writes, “Council may choose to deny the application or amend the grant structure[;] however, the application and project meet all criteria of the CIP and Goodyear Canada Inc. is an ideal candidate for the CIP.” 

The report points out that the project will result in a substantial increase in full-time job opportunities for residents, a large increase in industrial taxation revenues for the municipality, and spin-off/indirect impacts for the broader community: “The project will ensure that the Goodyear plant remains operational for decades to come and further safeguards the existing employment base at Goodyear today.”

As always, the full agenda for the meeting of Napanee Town Council can be viewed on the Town’s CivicWeb platform, and the full meeting can be viewed on the Town of Greater Napanee YouTube channel, both live and afterwards.

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