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Deal with Multilink to retain jobs, promote company expansion in Elyria

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ELYRIA — An incentive deal between Elyria and Multilink Inc. will help the tech company with an expansion that will keep hundreds of jobs in the city.

The proposed three-pronged deal cuts the company a break on income tax and property taxes with added compensation to Elyria Schools to make up for their share of the revenue loss. Mayor Holly Brinda said Monday that she has been working with Steve Kaplan, owner of Multilink on Ternes Lane, since last June on the incentive package.

“This is a high-tech company, the kind we want to grow and nurture in Elyria,” Brinda said.

Brinda spoke about the deal briefly during Monday’s City Council meeting, informing Council members that they will be asked to approve the deal at their next meeting.

The incentive package covers a 5,000-square-foot expansion at Multilink’s facility at 580 Ternes Lane and the construction of a new 15,000-square-foot production and research warehouse at 1154 E. Broad St. This will retain 240 full-time jobs in Elyria and add three new full-time positions by Dec. 31, 2020.

Multilink expects to generate about $175,000 of additional annual payroll with the new jobs.

A call to Kaplan for comment was not returned. Multilink is a telecommunication company that works on cable television, fiber optic and software application products.

The first part of the incentive package is a 15-year municipal income tax reimbursement. Brinda said if Multilink hits negotiated minimum tax targets, it will be eligible for an estimated annual reimbursement of $36,558. A condition is that the reduction of the reimbursement will drop to zero if the total annual withholdings fall below $80,000 in any taxable year.

As a part of the deal, the city also will give Multilink an infrastructure reimbursement up to a maximum of $75,000 to offset the cost of an estimated $1.8 million building and equipment expansion project and a 50-percent waiver of city permit fees.

The second agreement is an enterprise zone agreement that offers a 100 percent tax exemption for 10 years for the value of the improvements made to the property site. As a part of the overall package, Multilink also has agreed to make annual payments to the Elyria school district equal to 25 percent of the property taxes that would have been owed to the district over the agreement.

The construction of the facility expansion will start late this year and finish by Dec. 31, 2018, city officials said.

Construction on the East Broad Street facility is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or email lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

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