July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Avon company announces $18 million expansion, will add up to 30 jobs

AVON — A planned $18 million expansion by a local company is expected to add up to 30 jobs.

City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for Jenne Distributors Inc., a producer and distributor of high-tech business, video conferencing and security technology products.

Under terms of the abatement, the city will forgive taxes on equipment, furnishings and inventory on a sliding scale over the 10-year period, according to Avon Mayor Jim Smith.

“We’ll start out at 75 percent for three years, go down to 60 percent for another three, and wind up with 50 percent for another four, which averages out to 60 percent, Smith said.

Among the top five taxpayers in town, Jenne Distributing previously expanded in 1996 and 2002. The firm was founded in 1986.

“Even during recessions they’re expanding,” Smith said.

The company will more than double the size of its existing 65,000-square-foot facility with an initial $5 million construction project on land already owned by the firm next to its existing plant on Chester Road near Petitti’s Garden Center, Smith said.

“They have a beautiful, split-face brick building facing I-90,” Smith said.

The firm is projected to add 24 jobs over three years that should add $1.9 million to Jenne Distributing’s payroll during the same period, according to the mayor.

“Rose Jenne (Jenne’s chairman) has exceeded the (jobs) number every time,” Smith said. “They’ve never not topped it.”

The company employs about 60 people.

“These are technical jobs working with telephones and computer systems,” Smith said. “And there are some warehouse jobs, too.”

Employees earn an average $40,000, according to figures provided to the city.

Companies such as Jenne also bolster the city’s economy by drawing buyers and customers to its Avon location.

“This way they bring people from other parts of the country to see the county and what we have here, and if we can pull one of 1,000 out who wants to locate here, we’re ahead,” Smith said. “We can’t buy the advertising Rose Jenne gives us.”

Jenne partners with more than 150 major manufacturers including Avaya, Panasonic, Extreme Networks, ADTRAN, Lifesize, ClearOne, Plantronics, GN Netcom, Aastra, ICC, Valcom, and Verint.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.