By Charles Sercombe
Is Hamtramck in line for a major revenue boost now that GM has announced a huge investment in its Poletown plant?
That was a question on the mind of some folks, upon hearing the news that GM is going to invest $2.2 billion in the plant and hire 2,200 workers once the retooling of the facility is completed.
Prior to shutting down production, there were 700 workers at the plant.
The increase in the number of workers may factor into how Hamtramck receives in annual revenue from GM in lieu of property taxes.
In a special agreement with GM, the amount that the company pays is based on the number of employees and shifts operating at the plant.
The city had been receiving about $700,000 a year from GM. So, what happens if the number of employees more than triples in size?
Hamtramck City Manager Kathy Angerer said it’s too early to say whether there will be an increase in yearly revenue to the city.
She said, however, that no matter what, it was welcome news about GM’s plan for the plant.
“”I am pleased that GM changed their decision to idle the plant, and are now set to invest over two billion dollars to retool the existing facility and produce world class electric vehicles at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for many years ahead,” Angerer said in a text.
“I applaud GM for creating over 2,000 jobs, and am looking forward to employees working every day in the plant. This will be great for our community and our businesses in Hamtramck.”
While there may be a revenue boost in the years to come, Hamtramck will have to brace for a temporary financial setback while the plant undergoes retooling.
GM says it could take up to two years to get the plant ready to produce electric-fueled vehicles.
During that time, the city will receive only a fraction of the $700,000 a year it received while the plant had been in production.
Despite this setback, GM investment in the plant was met with great enthusiasm from local Detroit and Hamtramck city officials, and from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a press conference held on Monday morning.
Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski was on hand for the announcement, and also “applauded” GM’s investment.
Hamtramck, she said, “is pleased to be an integral part of this next revolutionary iteration of auto manufacturing.”
“No one will be cheering more enthusiastically than the City of Hamtramck when these first electronic vehicles come off that assembly line.”
Jan. 31, 2020