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R&L keeps its commitment

Trucking company seeks CRA, plans to retain 350 jobs, add 60 more in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA — City Manager Lance Willard on Tuesday proposed a CRA application from R&L Carriers to the school board, which will create more jobs in the community.

Earlier in February, city council approved two CRA applications, including one for ABL Wholesale Distribution that will create over 80 jobs.

The school board was even more blown away after Willard told them about the expansion of R&L Carriers, which will retain over 350 jobs in the city and create 50 additional full-time jobs and 10 part-time jobs over the next five years with a $5 million increase in annual salary and benefits after five years. As the largest current employer in the city, Willard admitted this was a business retention project.

“What they did was give us a chance,” Willard said. “We promised them that we would act at the speed of business and we did that. We were very happy to find out that they selected our site to expand.”

It is a $20 million project, which includes $10 million in new construction and $10 million in additional equipment.

R&L has operated a 204-door terminal on Heck Road for over 25 years.

The current payroll for the company is close to $23 million and the company will add 50 jobs at a salary of $60,000. In May, R&L contacted Columbiana and said they were one of their top-five site selections in the nation to expand.

The expansion will add 80 new dock doors, 2,400 square feet of office space and two shop bays. They will also repave and add more paved parking.

The negotiations resulted in a proposed real estate tax abatement of 100 percent for 15 years on the increased value of new construction and 100% for 12 years on any remodeling of existing structures.

“This is a huge plus for us with the addition and income from all of those jobs and the opportunity for the individuals to move to our community and to our schools,” board member Scott Caron said.

slendak@mojonews.com

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