YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The owner of the Chill-Can plant on Youngstown’s east side has received an official legal notice from the city.
Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown said they haven’t heard from company officials yet, but they’ve missed several benchmarks that were set as part of a grant that the company received from the city.
Brown said residents were displaced and public money was spent on the project. While he’d rather see jobs in the area, he said there has been no return on the investment.
“I want them to be accountable for their dollars,” Brown said.
The mayor is tired of broken promises. Chill-Can owner Mitchell Joseph has been put on notice about his failed obligation from that 2017 agreement. The city believes 150 full-time workers should be on the job right now.
“I think over the next year if you have cans that need chilled, you better have ice,” said Youngstown City Law Director Jeff Limbian.
Ground was broken for the factory in 2016. In December, city officials held a meeting about incentives the company received but said the company hadn’t met the required goals for construction and hiring of employees.
As part of the notice, Limbian said the owner of the plant has 60 days to rectify the issues, or the matter will move to the courts. That could include going after tax dollars spent on the project, including money used to move residents out of the area.
“These are taxpayer dollars. These are public dollars that were spent on the project, and the return would’ve been people actively working. Right now, we need people to work, and that’s not happening,” Brown said.
The city sent a certified letter Friday and knows someone signed for it but hasn’t heard from Mitchell Joseph or his legal team.
“It became apparent that it’s a lot of hot air and not a lot of production. So, it’s time to move now,” Limbian said.
Many people have offered Mayor Brown ideas on how they would use the property. He acknowledged hearing those but says it’s not a conversation when you don’t control the land, and the city doesn’t have that right now.
A message was left for Mitchell Joseph who was on a conference call.