Mayor Don Wesely and Shin-Ichi Tamba, President of Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation USA, today signed the annexation agreement which extends the city limits to include the Kawasaki plant at 6600 Northwest 127th Street. The City Council approved an annexation ordinance June 25th, and it will take effect 15 days after that passage.
Kawasaki Motors asked the city to annex its plant in order to connect to city utilities. Last August, Kawasaki announced that a $50 million plant expansion just south of its current facility to build railroad passenger cars.
Since Kawasaki is currently in the Malcolm School District, the annexation affected Malcolm school funding for one year. Earlier this year, the Malcolm and Lincoln Public Schools signed an agreement to resolve the funding issue.
"This annexation is very positive for Lincoln, with sales and property taxes coming to the city and our school district," said Mayor Wesely. "We have been working with state, county and school district officials for months to make sure this change is positive for everyone involved, including the people of Malcolm."
"Today, I am pleased to sign this annexation agreement," Tamba said. "Of course, this agreement will bring many benefits to both the City of Lincoln and Kawasaki. The interests of both are well served today. To become a citizen of Lincoln is a great honor for both our company, Kawasaki, and me. We have always strived to be a good corporate citizen and will continue to do so."
The Lincoln city limits have been adjacent to Kawasaki since December 1989. Discussion of annexation began after Kawasaki determined that upgrading its private sanitary sewer plan could cost nearly $1 million, and the improvements would not ensure that the private system could meet future treatment standards. The city has had a sanitary sewer line near the Kawasaki plant since 1994. The new sewer extension could be oversized to serve an area larger than Kawasaki alone.
Kawasaki Motors has been in the Lincoln area since 1974 and currently has about 1,600 regular and contract employees. The expansion is expected to add at least 300 more employees.