On March 30, the Cascade City Council held a special meeting to formally approve a property tax reimbursement application and a business incentive application for Centro, Inc., a new business moving to town.

The city had been in talks with Centro, Inc. for five months, forming an agreeable partnership both parties believe will be mutually beneficial.

Centro, Inc. was established as a business 50 years ago and is a rotational molder of plastics, using plastic pellets and powder to create parts used in agriculture, construction, and lawn and garden. While the company makes a wide variety of products, its Cascade location will have a focus on John Deere products. It decided Cascade would be a good place for a new location because it’s relatively close to its headquarters in North Liberty, but far enough away to take advantage of a new labor pool.

The economic development incentives approved by the Council amount to an estimated $300,000 for the development of a new manufacturing plant. According to Cascade Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) President Brad Ludwig, Centro, Inc. is making a $2.5 million investment to purchase and equip a 30,000 square foot speculative building in the Cascade Industrial Park. Centro Inc. will be moving into the building on 145 Industrial Street and posting for jobs within the next few weeks.

Brian Olesen, President and CEO of Centro, Inc. spoke to the Council about the company’s history and how their presence will aid the Cascade community.

“Our business has been around for 50 years and continues to grow. Right now, we’re in a pretty amazing growth spurt, and the success of our company and history is rooted in Iowa soil and communities like this. We’re excited to be here and be a part of this community as we move forward. I think we have a lot to offer in terms of opportunities for people when we look at our footprint today. It started in Oxford, and today we have 10 locations and about 1,000 people. The beauty of it is nearly all of our facilities, except one, is being run by somebody who started trimming parts. It’s a career opportunity for those who perhaps don’t want to go to college right away. If they’re open to move, we have opportunities throughout the United States and, most recently, in Brazil.”

Nice Hansen, CFO of Centro, elaborated on the jobs that will be moving into the city.

“The idea is to use the existing building to put two machines in it and eventually build to around 24 associates. The first machine would have around 15 hires running through shifts five days a week, and we’d add the second machine to bring it up to 24. In our initial discussions, we’d estimated it would take at least three years to do that, but I think it’ll go a lot faster than that, honestly. It’s about $200 million of capital investment, so it’s a pretty significant project for us and we’re really excited about it.”

Mayor Greg Staner welcomed Centro Inc., stating they are yet another key part of Cascade’s continued growth.

“We have a lot going in Cascade. As you can see, it’s growing and moving fast, and that’s due to companies like Centro Inc. that show an interest in Cascade.”