Local workers who create unique and dynamic learning materials for children with learning disabilities recently received some aid for themselves.
A majority Huron city council and Huron school board members approved a 15-year tax abatement for n2y, a company that creates learning materials for the education industry.
The tax break allows n2y executives to invest about $1.7 million to build and expand their headquarters inside Huron's corporate park, located off Rye Beach Road across from BGSU Firelands.
The project will triple the size of the current facility, to about 17,000 square feet. It will also allow n2y to hire 10 full-time workers to join the company's 35 other employees.
The four- to six-month project should start sometime this month.
Similar deals increasing employment in Huron also occurred at Humanetics, Horvath Roofing and the Huron Senior Residence project, set to debut this fall.
"We've outgrown the facility and are at capacity with employees," said Don Wostmann, vice president of operations. "In order for us to grow and add more employees, we need to increase our space."
Officials approved the deal for several reasons:
After 15 years, n2y's city tax contribution should increase from about $9,000 today to $44,000 by 2028. The largest chunk of these taxes, about 73 percent, will funnel back to Huron Schools. Among several other entities divvying up the new tax revenue: Huron city government, along with other city and Erie County services.
A jump in employment also means additional income for Huron's income tax revenue and, quite likely, Erie County's sales tax.
Home buys could also rise as new employees seek houses nearby the office. Once the tax break expires, local public officials can start collecting on the company's full tax valuation.
An agreement stipulates n2y will pay $150,000 over the next 15 years, in support of a special education program somewhere in Huron Schools.
Huron city manager Andy White said collaboration and commitment among local governments helped keep n2y in Huron.
When the company started to talk about an expansion, several other communities wowed n2y executives by offering proposals to move outside of Huron.
"Without an abatement, they would have gone someplace else," said White, who helped structure the new deal. "We could have had a vacant building, less income tax and a loss of property taxes for the individuals who live here and could live here."
The company's executives are thrilled about staying in Huron. The move means n2y workers — a mixture of graphic artists, IT professionals, writers and customer service employees — won't have to relocate elsewhere, and they can build a larger presence in Huron.
The new agreement also means the office pooch — airedale Bentley, who embodies customer service by running up to guests — has more space to roam around.
"We have a great relationship with Huron and wanted to say," Wostmann said. "We are progressing and are one of the only companies in the area that is expanding, and we want to give people jobs here.