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City incentives support DIP Co. expansion

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DIP Co., located in Delta's Industrial Park, will be the first enterprise to benefit from an economic incentive policy adopted by the City of Delta nearly a year ago.

The policy is intended to support new and expanding business development in the City of Delta.

On a case-by-case basis, the Delta City Council agreed to provide incentives ranging from the refund of development/building permit fees and use taxes, to a donation of utility expenses.

A company interested in the incentives must first meet with Delta County Economic Development to assure the eligibility requirements are met:

• The business must make a considerable investment in plant, equipment, building, operational, and/or employees during the calendar year in which a proposal is made for incentives.

Diversified Innovative Products, or DIP Co., has built a 5,850-square-foot addition to its current facility and will be moving equipment to Delta to expand into the offset printing industry. Additionally, DIP Co. is purchasing a die-cutting service and moving the equipment from Grand Junction. Total investment is $670,650.

• The business must create/retain qualifying jobs with an overall annual wage that is at or above 80 percent county's average annual wage rate of all commercial/industries.

With the new space and equipment, DIP Co. will be hiring 1.5 additional employees during the first year of operation. The wages are about 14 percent higher than the average county wage.

• The business must be willing to provide an economic impact analysis that estimates the total economic benefits to Delta and the incentive payback period.

DIP Co. is working with DCED on the economic impact analysis, which will be reviewed by the city manager before the agreement is formalized.

After discussion, council members directed the city attorney to draft an agreement that refunds 50 percent of the use tax received by the city, estimated at $5,400, and a portion of the electric utility profits for a period of four years. The exact percentage was the only question council members expressed about the process. Council member Chris Ryan questioned whether the city should set a precedent at 50 percent.

The incentives that are offered are based on what the city has received through the development, city manager David Torgler explained. The electricity donation will be calculated from month-to-month comparisons of electrical use from the previous three years.

DIP Company has been located in Delta for 17 years. It manufactures "quick change" ink tray liners that make four-color printing faster and cleaner. The liners are made from rejected USDA milk carton material. The DIP crew folds, assembles, staples and ships hundreds of cases of tray liners every day.

The company's commitment to the community was highlighted by Trish Thibodo, executive director of Delta County Economic Development, who said she was first introduced to DIP Co. when the company received state incentive funds for a 2014 expansion. At that time, the Minneapolis facility was merged with the Delta operation.

While DIP Co. is the first company to seek economic incentives from the city, council member Ron Austin, serving as mayor pro-tem, said he hopes it will be the first of many.

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