AUBURN — Reports at Auburn’s Common Council meeting Tuesday gave a glimpse into the recovery of the city’s industries from this spring’s pandemic-induced slump.

Council members reported on their recent inspections of industries that are benefiting from property tax phase-ins.

The members visited factories to assure they are using the equipment on which taxes have been reduced and meeting their pledges of employment numbers.

Councilman Kevin Webb said Shiloh Diecast Midwest in west Auburn is “maxed out” and contemplating expansion.

“They are looking at the future of Auburn and expanding in Auburn,” Webb said, calling the company “a definite success story,”

Among its products, the Auburn factory is shipping parts for Chevrolet Corvettes to an assembly plant in Tennessee, Webb said.

The plant has 230 employees and is advertising for more, he said. In its 2018 application for a tax reduction, it predicted employment of 140 people.

Councilman Mike Watson said the C&A Tool plant at Grandstaff Drive and 15th Street pledged to have 182 employees, but has 270 on its payroll. It moved $2.6 million in equipment into its building last year, he said.

“Every year I go in, they have less open floor space and more activity,” he said. The plant makes products for medical applications.

Watson described the factory as “a place where you can drop your sandwich on the floor and not worry about picking it up.”

Watson also visited Metal Technologies’ Auburn foundry on West Auburn Drive. He said the company reported 252 employees on its annual renewal form for its tax reduction, but now stands at 269 employees and is looking to hire 20 people.

The plant’s business was down 60-70% through May, recovered to 50% in June and this week was around 80-85 of capacity, he said.

“Their recovery curve has been pretty sharp,” Watson said. “They expect to be back pretty close to full production in September-October.”

Councilman Matthew Kruse visited SCP Inc. on South Indiana Avenue.

“They’re doing well,” Kruse said, with 84 employees, nine of them new, and anticipating expansion.

A council committee will consider a new tax phase-in July 21 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. Webb said the applicant will be Continental A.G., which in late 2018 purchased the former Cooper Industrial Products plant in west Auburn.
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