Camso Manufacturing USA Will Locate Plant in Junction City

20 Jun 2018

By Dewey Terrill

Camso representative Jason Collins speaking at the podium during the Tuesday night Junction City Commission meeting.

The Junction City Commission has agreed to a deal to bring a new manufacturing company to the city.

Camso Manufacturing USA, LTD is a global company with headquarters in Quebec, Canada. They will put an operation in a renovated building in the I-70 Industrial Park on the south side of the city. They plan to hire up to 41 full time employees by January of 2020 and they are investing approximately $36.4 million to lease, renovate and equip a 139,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The building they will renovate will be a former grocery distribution facility.

The plant director for Camso at their operation in Emporia, Jason Collins, said they call themselves the road-free company. ” We’re strictly dedicated to the off-road vehicle industry. So we have business units that support agriculture. construction, material handling and power sports. The facility that will be coming to Junction City will be supporting the agricultural business unit and we’ll be manufacturing agricultural tracks.”

The city commission has authorized the issuance of taxable industrial revenue bonds of up to $40 million for the project. The City is not liable retire those bonds, since that is the responsibility of the company. The issuance of the IRB’s would give the company a property tax exemption by locking in the 2017 property tax rate for the next 10 years, and would make Camso eligible for a sales tax exemption on equipment purchased.

.Camso employees pose for picture with Junction City leaders.

The commission approved a development agreement that includes grant awards to the company totaling $575,000 based on meeting incremental employment targets from June 30,2019 through December 31,2020. A total of $200,000 of that amount would come from the JC First organization and pass through the city to the company.

As part of the agreement the City has agreed to upgrade nearby Old Highway 40 at an estimated cost of $150,000, upgrade the water line and loop serving the facility at a cost estimated by the City currently in excess of $515,000, waive building permit fees and authorize the issuance of the IRB’s.

If the company has commenced operations of the project at the facility by June 30, 2019, the City will work with the Junction City Land Bank to make available 45 substantially build-ready residential lots for company employees.

Camso has 165 employees at their plant in Emporia.  Collins cited a number of factors that weighed in Junction City’s favor as a location for their new facility. “The proximity to K-State, the access to transitioning Soldiers from Fort Riley was something that was definitely attractive to us, as well as incentives and what the City was able to do for us.”

The general hourly wage at the company’s plant in Emporia was listed by Collins in the $16.50 to $21 an hour range. He noted their employees usually escalate up that range within a two-year period.

Junction City Area Chamber of CEO Mickey Fornaro-Dean called this a huge opportunity for the community. “it’s a huge opportunity for the community and I’m honored to get to work with them.” Camso conducted a nationwide search before selecting Junction City as the site for the new operation.