published Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Bradley County supports Duracell plant incentives

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    A P&G employee sends a package of batteries down a conveyor belt at the P&G Duracell packaging center in Cleveland, Tenn., on Friday afternoon. Duracell is celebrating 50 years of making C- and D-cell batteries at the Cleveland plant.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Bradley County commissioners have agreed to offer financial incentives to help Procter & Gamble Duracell make a $36 million reinvestment within the community that will create 60 new jobs.

On Monday night, Bradley County commissioners voted 13-0 to authorize a tax abatement request made by P&G Duracell to assist the company with its expansion plans at its Cleveland facilities.

Although the issue did not generate any discussion among commissioners during the meeting, Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, praised the company's plans and their expected impact on the community afterward.

Last week, officials announced that the company's Cleveland production facility would be P&G Duracell's only plant that manufactures its C and D batteries. The planned expansion of Cleveland operations are intended to help the company fulfill sales of the batteries worldwide. The Cleveland plant is one of only three P&G Duracell production facilities in the United States.

The battery plant has maintained a relationship with the community for more than 50 years, and P&G Duracell's latest reinvestment will go toward building that relationship for another 50 years, said Berry.

"It's usually at 40 or 50 years where a company decides whether it is going to stay in a town any longer," said Berry.

The company is expected to begin seeking employees to fill the new positions within the next 45 to 60 days, said Berry.

The county and city will receive $564,000 in property tax revenues over the next seven years because of the P&G Duracell expansion, according to economic development calculations. Bradley County will receive $308,000 of the total and Cleveland will receive $256,000.

Local and state sales tax revenues also would benefit from the new jobs, and it is expected that new retail jobs would be created in the area as an indirect benefit, said Berry.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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