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Archive for Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Topeka development board OKs incentive package for Mars Inc.

July 12, 2011

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— A Topeka economic development board has signed off on a package of incentives for construction of a new Mars Chocolate North America factory south of the city.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Joint Economic Development Organization on Monday unanimously approved the $9.1 million incentives. Mars plans to build a $250 million factory at the Topeka's Kanza Fire Commerce Park, creating more than 900 direct and indirect jobs.

Mars officials have said they expect to break ground on the plant later this year and begin production of M&M's and Snickers candy in 2012.

Labor officials urged JEDO to insist that Mars use as many local construction workers as possible to build the plant.

The incentive package included land for the plant, wind energy production and a new railroad spur.

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