By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Elkhart County Council members Saturday voted to approve tax phase-in requests by three separate companies that together could bring as many as 85 new jobs to the area.
First to be approved Saturday was a final, confirmatory resolution supporting a seven-year tax phase-in agreement with the company Vista Manufacturing, an Elkhart-based manufacturer of LED, incandescent and rope lighting for use in the automotive, RV, marine and various other industries.
According to County Attorney Craig Buche, Vista Manufacturing is currently looking at expansion plans which promise approximately $2.4 million in real estate investment at a facility in the Elkhart East Business Park.
Through the expansion, the company has indicated plans to hire approximately 15 new full-time positions for an expected annual increase in payroll of $538,000.
“We’re very excited,” said Vista President Todd Tieszen of his company’s planned expansion. “We’ve been in Elkhart County for 30 years. We were actually incorporated here in Indiana in 1981, and we’ve been in our existing facility since 1983. It’s 12,800-square-feet, so for us to step up and move into a 34,000-square-foot facility, we’re really excited. And the steps that Elkhart County has taken have been of great assistance, and we’re looking forward to a lot more growth.”
In order to qualify for the tax phase-in agreement, Vista Manufacturing has agreed that it will stay in operation at its Elkhart location for no less than 11 years. Should the company fail to meet its obligations under the phase-in agreement, Vista 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.
Alliance Aluminum Products Inc.
Next to be approved was a confirmatory resolution supporting an eight-year tax phase-in agreement with Alliance Aluminum Products Inc., an aluminum extrusion business located at 52571 Commerce Court, Bristol.
Through the project, the company has indicated plans to invest $1.4 million in real estate redevelopment and rehabilitation. The project would also reportedly involve the hire of 10 new full-time employees with an estimated annual payroll of $343,000.
In order to qualify for the tax phase-in agreement, Alliance Aluminum has agreed to stay in operation at its Bristol facility for no less than nine years.
Monning Industries Inc.
Last to be approved Saturday was a final, confirmatory resolution supporting a seven-year tax phase-in for Monning Industries, parent company of Indiana Galvanizing LLC, a steel galvanizing company located at 51700 Lovejoy Drive, Middlebury.
Through the proposed expansion project, the company has indicated plans to invest $500,000 in the redevelopment of the related property as well as $500,000 in new manufacturing equipment and $10,000 in new information technology equipment.
In addition, the project also involves the potential for up to 60 new full-time positions for an annual payroll of nearly $2.25 million.
In order to qualify for the tax phase-in agreement, Indiana Galvanizing has agreed to stay in operation at its Middlebury location for no less than nine years.
C.R. 17 Right-of-Way
In other action, council members Saturday voted to approve a $300,000 additional appropriation by the County Highway Department to fund right-of-way acquisition for the next phase of C.R. 17 involving a two-lane limited access section of roadway from C.R. 38 to C.R. 40.
Election of Officers
Council members also held an election of officers to establish the president and vice president of the council for 2013.
Sitting council president John Letherman was reelected to the position of president for the new year. Councilman Dave Hess was then elected to serve as vice president of the council.