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Specialty gas company to build plant in Tooele

GOED approves tax incentive for Airgas to add 25 jobs.

First Published May 08 2014 12:39 pm • Last Updated May 08 2014 04:32 pm

Tooele County will get a new speciality gas production facility — and 25 new jobs — with help from a tax incentive approved Thursday by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board.

Airgas USA, based in Radnor, Pa., will receive a post-performance tax incentive of up to $106,652 to build the facility, which will supply specialty gases used in research and commercial laboratories, environmental monitoring and lasers for healthcare and manufacturing.

At a glance

Film aid

Silver Peak Productions will receive a state tax incentive to film a feature movie, “16 Stones,” largely in Utah County starting May 17.

Directed by Brian Brough, the drama will have a cast of 20 actors, 80 extras and 24 crew members. Silver Peak Productions expects to spend $335,000 in the state on this year’s filming, said Michael Sullivan, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board, which approved the aid Thursday.

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The tax break represents about one-fifth of the $462,998 in new state taxes projected to be generated in the 10 years of the incentive agreement, said GOED spokesman Michael Sullivan.

Each of the 25 new jobs is expected to pay at least 100 percent of Tooele County’s average wage, he noted, adding up to a payroll of almost $1.5 million in the first decade of the plant’s operation.

"Utah has been recognized as having one of the most diverse economies in the nation thanks to companies like Airgas that bring their unique product offerings to the Beehive State," said GOED Executive Director Spencer P. Eccles.

He was especially pleased the company, which has more than 15,000 employees at 1,100 locations, is investing in a rural county.

"Tooele County is the perfect location to support Airgas’ growth in the western states," said Airgas USA President Andrew Cichocki. The facility is scheduled to open next spring.

Last week, Airgas, Inc. reported net earnings of $351 million, or $4.72 per share, in the fiscal year ending March 31. That’s up from $342 million, or $4.35 per share, a year earlier. Annual sales topped $5 billion, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

Jeff Edwards, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, which works closely with GOED to attract new businesses to the state and to encourage existing operations to expand, predicted Airgas’s presence will "serve as a catalyst for quality job growth and increased capital investment in the region."


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