The Warrick County Council gave approval to reports of compliance for three abatements for Alcoa Warrick Operations.

The council heard reports on three abatements including a 2008 boiler optimization, a 2014 installation of new pusher preheat furnaces and the recent 2018 restart of smelting processes. Throughout the discussion on all three abatements, the council voted to move forward and allow the abatements to continue.

Warrick County Economic Development Executive Director Steve Roelle told the council the 2008 boiler optimization improvements were installed over time, so the abatement took effect over time which means the abatement on the more than $105 million investment is still in effect. However, Roelle said of the total abatement of more than $4.6 million Alcoa has seen just more than $4 milion.

Ultimately, Roelle told the council the $105 million in improvements is a significant investment that doesn't come close to even fitting on the scale the county uses for abatements.

"For this project, the size and scope of it -- more than $105 mllion, it was not putting a single cap on a smoke stack they can get assessed," he said. "We don't want to punish people for doing giant projects. Our normal scoring system for an abatement stops at $10 million."

When it comes to the 2014 abatement on the installation of new pusher preheat furnaces, Roelle told the council the installation was a $32.4 million investment that ultimately resulted in the addition of 34 new jobs despite job creation not being required in the original resolution for the abatement.

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"Our recommendation is that this one is pretty straightforward and they are in compliance," he said.

While the abatement approved last year for the restart of the smelter seemed somewhat contentious, Roelle told the council that Alcoa is in compliance with the aspects of the abatement as it was approved. He said Alcoa is on par with the $18.3 million investment as well as exceeding the job requirements the council included in the resolution.

Roelle told the council the original agreement required the addition of 370 jobs -- 95 retained and 275 new or rehired employees. He said Alcoa has exceeded the requirements currently standing at 422 jobs, 95 retained and 320 new jobs including 161 rehired employees.

"They advertise in Warrick County," he said. "They promote Warrick County jobs."

While the first two abatements passed unanimously, council member David Hachmeister gave the only dissenting vote to the final abatement.

The council will meet again for their regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m.

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