HARTFORD - A
two-phased expansion of Polyfirst Packaging in Hartford took
another step after the Hartford Common Council on Tuesday
approved the company’s sale of tax-exempt industrial development
revenue bonds to fund the project.
The city will not issue the bonds — Polyfirst will — but the
city is supporting the company by allowing it to use the city’s
tax-exempt status to sell them. The bonds are more attractive
for purchase by investors because they don’t have to pay taxes
on the money they receive when the bonds are paid off.
City Administrator Gary Koppelberger said the action was a
preliminary resolution for the bonds. The final resolution and
approval will come some time later.
“The bonds are expected to be a maximum of $7.5 million, about
$2.25 million of which is a refinancing (some company debt) at a
lower interest rate,” Koppelberger said. “The final numbers will
be confirmed at the approval of the final resolution.”
Council President Tim Michalak said the arrangement does not put
the city at any risk and costs the city nothing to help the
local business finance an expansion. The city benefits by
receiving more taxes from the company after the project is
completed because of the increased property value.
“The bonds are one of the oldest forms of federal tax
loopholes/incentives,” Koppelberger said.
Michalak said the city does charge the company a small amount
for the time and effort city employees must put in to help with
the arrangement. Hartford Economic Development Corp. Executive
Director Tom Hostad said he’s been told the company hopes to
break ground around May 1.
“They still have a couple of permits that need to be approved,”
City Planner Justin Drew said.
Polyfirst’s Chief Financial Officer Andy Garni said earlier the
company hopes to add about 40 jobs when both stages are
“In the first phase, we plan to construct a new building with
20,000-30,000 additional square feet of space on the east side
of our parking lot,” Garni said. “In the second phase, which
should begin right after the first phase is done, we plan to add
20,000 more square feet to the south end of our existing
Polyfirst is one of the country’s largest producers of specialty
plastic bags and plastic packaging. The company’s facility
covers 50,000 square feet.
Hostad said the company has been working with the state to gain
rail access so they can transport raw materials by train instead
of by truck.
“I know the company has had discussions with the DOT and they’ve
filed an application, but I don’t where that stands right now,”