Montgomery County OKs incentive for $175 million Brookville GM plant

The site of the potential new GM diesel engine plant is currently farmland. STAFF/CHUCK HAMLIN
The site of the potential new GM diesel engine plant is currently farmland. STAFF/CHUCK HAMLIN

A planned General Motors engine plant that will cost $175 million to build in Brookville now has $400,000 in county funding.

The GM plant would employ more than 100 workers.

The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners approved the ED/GE (Economic Development/Government Equity) funding at its Tuesday afternoon meeting. The ED/GE funding is designed to encourage GM to build a diesel engine manufacturing plant in Brookville just south of the old Payless distribution center.

Tuesday’s resolution formalizes a contract agreement between the county and the city of Brookville, said Montgomery County’s Development Director Erik Collins.

Collins said GM and Brookville are still in the “due diligence” phase, but if approved the project would help many people living in the Miami Valley.

“This project will not only help Brookville and Montgomery County, but also the surrounding communities and those who are looking for work in manufacturing,” Collins said.

If GM were to move forward with the project, the county would then begin working on “permanent-type improvements” to the site like earthworks or a parking lot, he said.

The potential plant would manufacture components for diesel engines, complementing the work already being done at the DMAX plant at 3100 Dryden Road in Moraine.

Dan Flores, a GM spokesman, said the DMAX plant builds whole engines, so the engine parts built at the potential new plant in Brookville would be part of a strategy to help the automotive company build more diesel engines.

“The (ED/GE funding) makes for a stronger business case,” Flores said. “This would be a tremendous project for the city, and we hope we move forward. We love doing business in Ohio.”

Flores said the automotive company is still doing its due diligence in making sure utilities could be rerouted to the site, seeking an environmental assessment and making sure the ground could hold an industrial plant.

Collins said last week that construction could begin as early as next month. Flores did not know when GM would make its final decision about the plant, but said it could open by late 2020.

Brookville City Council discussed an ordinance rezoning the land that the plant would sit on at a public hearing on Tuesday night. The rezoning will be decided at a later meeting.

The plant would bring more than 100 jobs to Brookville and cover 251,000 square feet, Flores said.

Flores also said about 17 jobs from the Moraine plant would be transferred to the Brookville facility.

The original ED/GE application said the plant would bring 80 jobs and would cover 300,000 square feet.

On Friday, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said the city lost out on the GM plant because of a land dispute with the city of Union. Dickstein said GM planned for the plant to grow to 1 million square feet and up to 700 workers.

Collins said before settling on Brookville, GM looked at locations in Dayton, Union and Moraine.

Moraine was an obvious choice for expansion because of the DMAX plant already located there, Flores said. But the city and GM could not find enough contiguous acreage.

Collins said the communities worked on a common ED/GE application because Montgomery County was competing for the project.

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