Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 15, 2012

Elkhart County may add up to 80 new jobs

Tax abatements approved for two significant expansions.

GOSHEN — Members of the Elkhart County Council approved preliminary tax phase-in agreements Saturday for two Elkhart County-based companies that could bring as many as 80 new jobs to the area.

A tax phase-in is a partial or temporary exemption of a company from having to pay property taxes with the express purpose of stimulating economic development.

ACC Climate Control

First to be approved Saturday was a declaratory resolution supporting an eight-year tax phase-in agreement with the company ACC Climate Control, a mobile air conditioning and heating systems supply company located at 22428 Elkhart East Blvd., Elkhart.

According to County Attorney Craig Buche, ACC Climate Control is currently undergoing a major expansion that promises approximately $920,000 in real estate redevelopment at the Elkhart plant in addition to approximately $3.8 million in new manufacturing equipment, $90,000 in new tooling/retooling equipment, $46,000 in new furniture and fixtures and $140,000 in new computer equipment and software.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” said Scott Hamilton, operations manager for ACC Climate Control. “I see companies closing doors. Well, our company has grown.”

The company has indicated plans to hire approximately 40 new full-time positions in addition to the retention of approximately 51 individuals already employed at the plant. Such hiring is expected to lead to an annual increase in payroll of nearly $1.46 million.

In order to qualify for the tax phase-in agreement, ACC Climate Control has agreed to stay in operation at its Elkhart location for no less than 12 years. Should the company fail to meet its obligations under the phase-in agreement, ACC Climate Control would be forced to repay the county a prorated portion of the total real estate and personal property taxes saved as a result of the tax phase-in agreement.

Final action on the proposed tax phase-in is set for May 19, at which time the County Council will determine whether or not the qualifications for a tax phase-in can be reasonably met by the company.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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