By Harold Reutter?

Excerpted from The Independent, published Monday, April 25, 2011

The Citizens Review Committee on Tuesday morning will be asked to approve a $219,000 incentive package for 73 jobs that CNH plans to create to help with increased production at the local plant.

The committee also will be asked to approve $225,000 to pay for a 53,000-square-foot expansion of the Standard Iron plant in Grand Island.

The committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

The incentive package amounts to $3,000 per job at CNH, which manufactures combines and hay tool equipment for Case IH and New Holland brands.

CNH is making a $5 million investment in additional equipment and revamping of the plant to accommodate the increased production.

The application for the $219,000 says that new equipment has been ordered and that revamping has already begun at the plant. It also says that eligible employees are being trained so they may be hired as full-time employees.

Total employment at the plant is now 844 employees, with the total rising to 917 after the 73 employees are added.

The average hourly wage for new employees will be $16.50.

CNH is asking for $100,000 up front, with the balance of $119,000 to be paid after Oct. 1. CNH plans to submit a full-time-equivalent employee report around Oct. 1 stating that all 73 employees have been hired.

The $219,000 would come from LB840 money, which is also known as Local Option Municipal Economic Development Program funds.