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Joliet Junior College approves tax abatement deal for Minooka business

JOLIET – The Joliet Junior College board approved a three-year property tax abatement – or reduction – for a company in Minooka that plans to expand its footprint. 

Before JJC trustees at Tuesday’s meeting was a request from the Grundy Economic Development Council for JJC to participate in a tax abatement for building expansion by United States Cold Storage in Minooka. 

The company specializes in providing temperature-controlled refrigerated warehousing and distribution services and solutions, according to JJC. 

The company plans to add 100,000 square feet to its current facility, which is 450,000 square feet. The tax abatement deal also is being proposed to eight other taxing bodies, including Grundy County and Minooka village. 

The estimated taxes at the end of the abatement would be $881,000 and JJC’s share would be $29,260. 

Trustees voted, 6-2, in favor of the proposal, with Trustees Maureen Broderick and Alicia Morales voting against it. 

Broderick said after the meeting that she thinks U.S. Cold Storage can support itself and doesn’t need the abatement. She also said JJC has to keep watch over deficits in the budget. 

“I don’t like giving away money that we could’ve been saving,” she said.

Morales said she voted against the proposal for the same reason as Broderick, saying the college is in a financial situation and she can’t see the proposal being justified at this time. 

According to the proposal, the total investment of the project is an estimated $17.6 million, of which $5.2 is expected to be taxable, along with the creation of 21 new full-time positions and the retention of 206 employees. 

MAP grants 

Morales asked Kristin Mulvey, JJC Foundation executive director, if the foundation is doing anything to help the college offset the more than $1 million it’s not receiving from the state for Monetary Award Program funding. 

MAP grants, which do not need to be repaid, are given to state residents who attend MAP-approved colleges and demonstrate a financial need. No state funding for MAP was included for the current fiscal year. 

Among the foundation’s donation efforts, Mulvey said the foundation has been focused on raising money from area companies and making proposals for funds.

“We’re just really hitting the pavement hard for companies to help our students,” she said.

She said a $250,000 gift from Citgo will help the foundation give $10,000 worth of scholarships to students every year. 

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