NORMAL — Rivian Automotive has invested at least $500,000 in the former Mitsubishi Motors North America plant in Normal and qualified for the first year of a promised five-year property tax abatement, local officials say, paving the way for two taxing bodies to officially sign off this week.
The Normal City Council and McLean County Board each will consider abatements when they meet, at 7 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday, respectively, after town and county staff members toured the plant and received private documentation about Rivian's spending at the facility.
The company also was required to buy the plant, which it did in January, to receive abatements from every property taxing body tied to the plant except cash-strapped Dry Grove Township.
Normal estimated its tax abatements are worth $107,200 this year — $74,900 due to the town and $32,300 due to Normal Public Library. The county didn't yet have an estimate when Assistant County Administrator Don Knapp wrote a memo to the board about the abatement on Feb. 8.
McLean County Unit 5 school district, which gets the majority of property taxes from the plant site, has not yet approved an abatement. Heartland Community College has not approved an abatement but could in March, said Vice President of Business Services Doug Minter.
The town also has pledged to give Rivian a $1 million grant after the company invests $20 million in the plant, and the state will rebate to Rivian up to $49.5 million in income tax.
The Michigan-based electric car startup bought the plant to serve as the center of its manufacturing. Rivian plans to release a five-passenger truck in 2020, then a seven-passenger sport utility vehicle.
The company has also hired more than a dozen local employees and several executives, including Rivian CFO Ryan Green, a former CFO of Harley Davidson’s financial services company in North America. Other executives worked for AM General, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren and Nissan.
The City Council meets on the fourth floor at Uptown Station. The County Board meets in Room 400 at the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington.
In other business, the council will consider:
• A 0.64 percent raise for non-contract employees effective April 1, affecting 247 employees and costing the town $162,000. Members of Normal's firefighter and police unions get 2.75 percent and 2.85 percent annual raises, respectively.
• A $47,000 contract with Florida-based Sports Facilities Advisory to study a potential Twin City outdoor sports complex over the next three months. Officials hope the complex will be a viable option for economic development and to replace Community Fields.
• Amending the town's liquor code to allow hotels and restaurants to begin serving alcohol at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Golf courses may currently serve at 7 a.m., and the town allows packaged liquor sales at that time. Most Bloomington establishments can begin serving alcohol at 6 a.m. daily.
The change also will allow restaurants with video gambling to start offering that service at 9 a.m., versus 11 a.m. for establishments with only video gambling.