Murphysboro entices U.S. manufacturers with glass apples - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Murphysboro entices U.S. manufacturers with glass apples

The City of Murphysboro, Illinois spent nearly $13,000 to send out informational packages out about a vacant property, all in hopes of garnering new business in town.

Along North 19th Street in the home of the Apple Festival is the Curwood Facility.

The 169,000 square foot facility is owned by and last operated by Bemis, a company based in Wisconsin, and has sat vacant since the company pulled out of Murphysboro in 2004.

The total property is some 14 acres and has a parking lot for more than 100 vehicles.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens said he's hopeful the city will be able to garner enough attention to bring in a new manufacturing company to purchase the building.

The Mayor said his number one priority is bringing jobs to the city.

“When you have people going to work everyday, you can grow your community," Stephens said. "Nothing else does it quite like people going to work.”

“We targeted the 350 most fasted growing manufacturing companies," Stephens said. "Because those are companies that pay middle class livings for people and they are the type of people who would be interested in of that size."

The price tag of the city's marketing venture is going to run about $13,000.

About $10,000 of that went toward purchasing unique, hand-blown, glass apples made in Murphysboro by the Douglas School Art Place -- The Mayor said even if a company chooses not to buy, the glass apple is something that will sit on an executives desk for years to come and they'll say it came from Murphysboro.

Including the glass apples, each package will include a jump drive with a video of the Mayor and introducing how the apples were made and him showing the property -- As well as a high lighter, Murphysboro refrigerator magnet, and pack of Big Red gum.

The Murphsboro Chamber of Commerce has pledged $1,000 and the Jackson County Board has donated $2,500 toward the packages, the Mayor said.

Stephens said he also hopes other community organizations will pitch in.

“We're going to make a really tangible effort to attract jobs and get peoples attention," Stephens said.

When Bemis operated the Curwood facility it employed about 200 people, Stephens said. And he hopes another company will do the same.

To spice up the deal even more -- The building is located in the city's enterprise zone which means the company will be free of sales tax on any building materials purchased to update the facility as well as apply for a property tax freeze for up to ten years.

“And so those two things really help save money for somebody wanting to invest in our community," Stephens said.

“When somebody opens up this package, they're going to know that somebody took time and effort and money into it," Stephens said. "These are busy people."

Mayor Stephens said the city has been working on this project for the past several weeks.

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