Five-hundred new jobs could be heading to Boone County. That's because one of the world's biggest manufacturers of industrial lubricants may be coming to town.
Economic advisors say the company, Chemtool, will bring a huge boost to the area financially. But some neigboring residents aren't so eager to roll out the welcome mat in their back yards.
The 160-acre plot of land Chemtool is considering calling home is north of U.S. 20 and west of Garden Prairie Road in Bonus Township, in Eastern Boone County.
Some residents fear it will mean noise, pollution and an eyesore. But a recent economic impact study shows the plant would bring in four million dollars in state and local taxes. That plus salaries, rent and interest, could increase Boone County's wealth by nearly $27 million.
"You're looking at a very subsantial investment, job creation, a consolidation of operations, a company that's very stable and very diversified," says Mark Williams, Executive Director of Growth Dimensions, an economic development company serving Boone County and Belvidere.
The study also estimates about 245 additional jobs would be created out of the plant. That's including transportation and warehousing, retail and finance and insurance jobs.
Chemtool wants to rezone the land to light industrial with special permits to manufacture bio-based and petroleum products. They must first get approval from several Boone County board committees before bringing the zone change before the full board, maybe as early as next month.
Chemtool also needs to decide if they want to come to Boone County. They're considering a few other possible sites.