GOTION EV BATTERY PLANT IN MANTENO, IL / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What are the benefits for residents of Manteno and Kankakee County when Gotion builds its EV battery manufacturing plant at the location of the abandoned Kmart warehouse?
Gotion is committing to invest more than $2 billion to create a state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) lithium battery manufacturing plant on the currently abandoned Kmart warehouse site in Manteno.
Gotion plans to hire 2,600 employees, and these new jobs will pay 120% of the average wage of similar job classifications in Kankakee County.
Beyond jobs, this kind of economic growth in our community will stimulate other businesses coming, like restaurants, retail and other commercial operations which will additionally support the tax base, sponsor our youth athletic programs and more.
As part of the state of Illinois’ commitment to build out comprehensive EV hubs and support Illinois’ workforce, the state will fund a new manufacturing training academy nearby, as well as award an additional grant to workforce providers to expand training and prepare regional employees for the new jobs.
Once the plant is open and operating, Gotion will be paying real estate taxes up to $2 million a year for the next 30 years – which is double what the empty property contributes now.
As Governor Pritzker said when he traveled to Manteno on September 8 for the announcement, the Gotion EV battery manufacturing plant is “the most significant new manufacturing investment in Illinois in decades.”
- What steps are the Village of Manteno and state taking to ensure the safety of local residents from environmental pollution and fire concerns associated with the manufacture of lithium EV batteries?
Gotion or any EV lithium battery manufacturer operating in the U.S. must meet strict permitting protocols and regulations imposed by federal and state laws and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Gotion’s plant in Manteno will also have to comply with all Illinois EPA regulations.
Village of Manteno will be additionally ensuring Gotion’s strict compliance with all federal and state regulations through its code enforcement officer, in conjunction with the Manteno Fire Department and outside, independent experts experienced in these type of facilities. Manteno’s fire chief and code enforcement officer will travel to Gotion’s plant in Germany this month to learn about the company’s manufacturing process, ask questions and bring back information to consider.
- What incentives have been offered by Illinois and/or Manteno to bring the Gotion EV battery manufacturing plant here?
Gotion’s decision to locate its EV battery manufacturing plant in Manteno at the site of the abandoned Kmart warehouse was bolstered by a Reimagining Energy and Vehicles (REV) Illinois incentive package and the new Invest in Illinois fund.
Gotion’s total incentive package from the State of Illinois, which includes REV, Invest in Illinois, and other incentives, is valued at $536 million. Through REV, Gotion is eligible to receive tax benefits totaling $213 million over 30 years. The REV agreement specifies a minimum company investment of $1.9 billion and the creation of 2,600 full-time jobs that are paid at least 120% of the average wage of similar job classifications in Kankakee County. A link to the executed REV agreement can be found here.
Gotion will also be the first recipient of Invest in Illinois funding in the amount of $125 million in capital funding to the company. The Fund was signed into law in early 2023 to make Illinois more attractive when vying for large projects in highly competitive sectors like clean energy. A link to the executed Invest in Illinois agreement can be found here.
The Village of Manteno, Kankakee County and our eight other taxing bodies agreed to cap Gotion’s real estate taxes at $2 million annually for 30 years. Currently the real estate tax bill for that abandoned Kmart property is just shy of $1 million, so this is a 105 percent boost.
- Some are saying that Gotion, a Chinese company, will bring Communism to Manteno, or could possibly engage in espionage for the Communist Chinese government, especially being located “right next to a military base.” What about these concerns?
First of all, it is not true that the Gotion EV battery manufacturing plant will be constructed “next to a military base.” The only military in any proximity to the proposed Gotion plant are the National Guard in Kankakee (14 miles from the facility) and an Army Reserve camp in Joliet nearly 30 miles away.
In terms of rumored espionage, there is a process for screening foreign companies doing business in the U.S. According to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, “National security is a foremost priority, and we deploy a wide range of tools to safeguard it.” The federal government reviews and can block business activity of non-U.S. companies through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, also known as CFIUS.
Gotion has already been operating for a number of years in Fremont, California and Independence, Ohio. Gotion was recently given a federal green light in Michigan.
- How do Manteno, Kankakee County and Illinois benefit if China brings over hundreds of workers to staff this Gotion manufacturing plant?
The Gotion EV battery manufacturing plant in Manteno will create 2,600 full-time jobs, with employees being paid at least 120% of the average wage of similar job classifications in Kankakee County. Around 50 of those 2,600 employees will be from China, and their sole purpose will be to conduct training on the EV battery manufacturing process.
Kankakee Community College will also be providing training programs for this kind of work. This is another benefit of the project, supporting academic training that will raise the local education level and readiness for jobs of the future.
- If the Village of Manteno and the state of Illinois are giving so many tax incentives, won’t our real estate taxes go up? How can residents be protected?
The services that the local units of government will be providing for the Gotion plant will cost less than the $2 million a year they will ultimately be paying in real estate taxes. Other retail, restaurants and commercial operations that will locate in the area because of the plant will increase the tax base as well.
Plus, if you are a resident of Manteno, own your single-family home and have lived in that house the previous tax year, you get a 100% refund of the Village portion of your property tax bill. (This can be accomplished by going to Village Hall, bringing your paid tax bill, plus a photo ID for the individuals listed on the deed as the property owners, and filling out a form. The owners will then receive a check by mail for the Village of Manteno portion of the property tax bill).
- What about the traffic that comes with a giant plant like this – workers going in and out on shifts, supplies being trucked and freighted in … how will residents be protected from this?
The good news is the State had already planned to rebuild the I-57 interchange, making it four-lanes instead of two, widening the I-57 bridge and adding a sidewalk. And, the County will widen County Highway 9 from two lanes to four lanes, and install a traffic light at the intersection of County Highway 9 and Spruce Street. The engineering firm designing the expanding County Highway 9 on behalf of the Illinois Department of Transportation will be holding a hearing in Manteno in late October where Village residents will have the opportunity to hear the plan and offer comments.
- What role will the Village play during construction of the plant?
Manteno’s code enforcement officer, fire chief and outside independent experts the Village hires for their experience and guidance will review all plans before any construction occurs to ensure the health, safety and security of all future employees and Manteno residents is protected. There will be checkpoints built into the construction process as well, to ensure that everything is being built according to plan.
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