‘We’ll Create 50 to 60 Full-Time Jobs,’ Says Trucking Co. CEO Eyeing Move To Maywood

Fore Trucking

A truck that’s part of a fleet owned by Fore Transporation, Inc., based in Harvey, IL, and which is looking to expand its operations by building a second location in Maywood. | Fore Transportation

James Apa.jpgThursday, April 28, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

A Harvey-Based trucking company is seeking to expand its operations by purchasing village-owned land at the corner of 9th and St. Charles, and constructing a 6,500 square-foot building to house its inventory of refrigerated trailers. James Apa, (pictured), the president and CEO of Fore Transportation, Inc., said his company would also use the Maywood location for truck repairs and the sale of parts.

Apa pitched his proposal to the Maywood Board of Trustees at an April 27 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting. The board voted to move the measure to executive session, where they discussed a sales price for the vacant parcel, which Apa said he’d been interested in for more than two years.

According to data provided on its website, Fore, a family owned company, generated $30 million in sales in 2013. Apa said the company employs over 200 people. He noted that, if the deal goes through, the company hopes to add another 50 to 60 full-time positions at the Maywood location. Apa said the average starting wage for positions at his company is $20 an hour (“time-and-a-half after 40 [hours], full benefits”).

Apa, a native of Melrose Park who currently lives in Elmwood Park, said his company would be looking to hire licensed truck drivers, certified mechanics, salespeople, operations personnel and safety personnel for the Maywood location.

The Elmwood Park resident said that, when it comes to hiring preferences, his company would be looking for qualified applicants who live close to the facility, particularly when it comes to hiring truck drivers.

“We want people to be employed as close to our terminal as possible,” Apa said. He noted that, due to government regulations that restrict the number of hours drivers can be on the road, “The further the driver lives from the terminal, the less time they have to be on the street making me money. So, if I can have all my drivers live across the street from my terminal, it would make me a lot happier.”

The board met Apa’s April 27 presentation with general approval, although some trustees had concerns about how the location would affect the quality of life for residents who live in the area.

“Our Fifth Avenue corridor has got to be dealt with and more truck traffic is the least thing we need,” said Trustee Ron Rivers.

Apa, allaying Rivers’s concerns about his trucks possibly clogging already congested, truck-heavy 1st and 5th Avenues, said that his drivers would take “as many state routes as possible.” That would mean hewing to state-owned corridors like Lake Street and Mannheim Road, he said.

When Trustee Melvin Lightford expressed concerns about the night-time noise level related to a proposed facility that would operate 24 hours a day, Apa said that most night-time activity would be restricted to trucks driving in and out of the terminal.

“My trucks aren’t going to be blowing their horns, they’re going to be entering and exiting the property,” Apa said.

“The repairs, like putting the engine in and that kind of stuff, is going to be done during the day. The main heavy engine machinery work is done on first shift. You’re not going to have a driver with an 18-wheeler barreling down the street hitting his horn. If it happens, it’s only going to happen once. That I can tell you. My drivers aren’t going to do it again.”

Apa requested a Class 6b tax incentive, which allows new industrial developments in Cook County to qualify for a property tax reduction. According to the County County Assessor’s Office, properties receiving the incentive are only assessed at 10 percent of their market value for the first 10 years, 15 percent in the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year of their existence. Ordinarily, industrial real estate in the county is assessed at 25 percent of its market value.

Apa said he envisions a domino effect in the area if his company’s purchase of the land at 9th and St. Charles goes through — similar to the transformation that took place in Harvey after Fore moved into town in 2008.

“We bought the land. The road we were on was not conducive to truck traffic. We got together with the state and they put all new roads in,” he said.

“That whole industrial park that we’re located in has grown ten-fold since we’ve been there. When we moved there, we had less than 50 employees. We’ve brought 150 permanent jobs, 90 percent of them are from the area. And we’ve increased the value on our property and all properties around us significantly in an economic downturn.” VFP

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In honor of the late Lennel Grace, a tireless Maywood advocate for clean paths, sidewalks and streets, attend this year’s annual Illinois Prairie Path Cleanup, Saturday, April 30, 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., starting at 11th Avenue and Prairie Path, in Maywood. RSVP JoAnn Murphy, so she can plan accordingly.

Operation Uplift to host April 30 reunion kickoff/fundraiser, in lieu of annual luncheon

West TownOperation Uplift, the Maywood nonprofit that operates the West Town Museum of Cultural History and hosts an annual Martin Luther King, Jr., luncheon, has announced that it will be hosting a reunion kickoff to help support and bring awareness to its daily services in lieu of a luncheon this year.

“Please help us continue to provide more cultural awareness to our local community, stimulate individual growth,  community pride, and educate the Proviso Township area about the collections of art, artifacts and significant historical materials we hold within our doors,” according to a recent release put out by the organization.

The reunion kickoff activities will include educational tours, an African attire fashion show, live entertainment and food.

It will take place on Saturday, April 30, from 1 PM to 4 PM, at Operation Uplift/West Town Museum, 104 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood.

Donations or pledges of any amount are greatly appreciated. Those who give via checks should make them payable to: Operation Uplift, Inc.

For more information please call Jeri Stenson at 708-289-4955 or email operationupliftinc@gmail.com. VFP

WOW Fundraising Event, May 1

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