Youngstown officials discuss lack of progress on Chill Can plant; say company has lost business due to COVID-19

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Although the ground was broken for the Chill Can facility on the city's east side in 2016, the three buildings have not been completed

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It has been almost five years since plans began to build a new kind of beverage can in Youngstown, and there still isn’t a whole lot to show for it.

Although the ground was broken for the Chill Can facility on the city’s east side in 2016, the three buildings have not been completed, and no one has been hired to work there.

Thursday, the local Tax Incentive Review Committee received an update on the project.

The mayor’s chief of staff told the group the company that is developing the plant has largely been forced to shut down most of its U.S. and British operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a list of questions that we’ve asked them, specifically, we have not received specific timelines, so as a result of that, we have directed their counsel to work with our counsel to open back up the agreement, to look at the agreement,” said Nikki Posterli.

There are 17 business projects on the books now in Youngstown that have received some sort of incentive. The Chill Can project is one of eight that have received incentives that have not been able to meet their goals for construction, hiring employees and other issues.

At one point during Thursday’s meeting, Councilman Julius Oliver asked whether it was worth pulling back the incentives and losing whatever can eventually come from the project.

Posterli said the city wants to talk to company officials to see what’s salvageable. At this point, no dates have been set for those meetings.

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