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General Motors Plans $120M Expansion At Fairfax Plant

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 1:16pm

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — General Motors plans to ask for $120 million in industrial revenue bonds to fund a vast expansion of its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan., government officials said.

GM's planned 400,000-square-foot expansion, including a new paint shop, should ensure the future of the plant and its 3,700 workers, Unified Government officials said Wednesday.

The Unified Government Board of Commissioners was to be briefed on the request Thursday and will officially consider at a meeting next week, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/Nz6N0F ).

"From what we know, it would be the largest physical expansion of the plant since it was built," Mayor Joe Reardon said.

Under a proposed schedule, the project would be completed in 2014.

GM spokeswoman Lauren Indiveri confirmed the company is asking for $120 million in bonds for upgrades and an addition to the plant, where the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu are assembled.

The $120 million in bonds would be used to construct the new building. Wyandotte County leaders said they believe more money will be spent to equip the plant, but they declined to discuss how much.

GM has put almost $1.9 billion in reinvestments into the plant in the last 10 years, The Star reported. The current plant was built in 1985.

Doug Bach, deputy county administrator for economic development, said the planned expansion should the future of the plant.

"The proposal from GM is something that would solidify the investment of GM in the area for years to come," he said.

The Fairfax plant is the largest private employer in Wyandotte County and one of the top 10 employers in the metropolitan area, Reardon said.

"In my mind," the mayor said, "this application and GM's interest is further affirmation that the cars being built by the men and women at Fairfax are some of the best cars being built in the U.S. today."

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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