March 14, 2014

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Article

Tomato Greenhouse Farm Coming to Juab County

Press Release

March 14, 2014

Juab County — The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and Houweling’s Tomatoes announced today the company will build a new, environmentally friendly greenhouse tomato farm in Juab County that is expected to create more than 280 new jobs.

The facility will employ state-of-the art climate control and sustainability technology. It will be heated with waste heat from a nearby natural gas fired electrical generation facility, enabling Houweling to operate with a low carbon footprint. Additionally, the facility will use waste carbon dioxide off the generators stack to provide fertilization to tomato crops.

“Houweling’s Tomatoes will positively impact the rural community of Juab County through its expansion and green practices,” said Spencer P. Eccles, executive director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “It is encouraging to see a company come to Utah that is innovating and implementing eco-friendly operations.”

The creation of the Utah facility is expected to lead to $18,160,900 in new state taxes and $267,891,773 in new state wages. The more than 280 jobs that will be created with this expansion are expected to pay at least 100 percent of the average Juab County wage. Each position will include company-contributed health insurance.

“Houweling’s Tomatoes new state of the art facility for growing tomatoes, its strong workforce and innovative method of lowering the carbon footprint within Juab County is exhilarating to the county’s vibrant business community,” said Rick Carlton, Juab county commissioner.  

The project is expected to require $79 million in capital investment and will be carried out in two phases. The first phase, comprised of 28.3 acres, is projected to realize annual farm gate sales of approximately $23.3 million.

“My passion is growing fresh, great tasting tomatoes. I am excited at the opportunity to bring this to the people of Utah,” said Casey Houweling, president and CEO of Howeling’s Tomatoes.

Houweling’s Tomatoes is comprised of Houweling Nurseries Oxnard Inc. in Southern California and Houweling Nurseries Ltd. in Delta, British Columbia. The group consists of two greenhouse facilities, a 125 acre facility in Southern California and a 50 acre facility in Delta British Columbia, that grow and sell greenhouse tomatoes. Company-wide Houweling’s currently has 750 employees.  Each company operates autonomously, but under common ownership of the Houweling family. The group intends to follow this pattern and create a separate legal entity for the Utah operations.

As part of a contract with Houweling’s Tomatoes, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a maximum cap tax credit of $4,648,270 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive, which is 25.6 percent of the net taxes Houweling’s Utah operation will pay over the 20-year life of the agreement. Each year if Houweling’s meet the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the tax credit incentive.

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