Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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July 27, 2013

Miller-King development fiscal plan, annexation approved

SHIPSHEWANA — The Shipshewana Town Council took two important steps Thursday on the proposed Miller-King Development, while putting the brakes on two other parts of the project for now.

Council members voted to approve a fiscal plan for the subdivision and annex the 56.8-acre parcel zoned business-2 into the Shipshewana town limits.

However, after voting last month to advertise for bids for construction of a Morton Street extension through the proposed commercial development, complete with storm water drains, the council tabled the awarding of bids Thursday for the construction. Members also postponed a vote on a proposed interlocal agreement between the town and LaGrange County for the project.  

Town Manager Mike Sutter said following the meeting that council members tabled action on both issues because a joint committee of LaGrange County Commissioners and LaGrange County Council members is undecided about what parts of the project to contribute to financially.

He said that town council members hope to hear an answer from the joint committee by Shipshewana’s next council meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 before voting on the bids and interlocal agreement.

County Commissioner Jac Price said Thursday that he thought that the committee had agreed to help fund the new road section, along with curbs and gutters, from the end of Morton to North Village Drive. However, some commissioners oppose helping to fund storm sewers, he said.  

Meanwhile, developer Alvin Miller said that he and partner Levi King want the town to share in more than just the cost of the new pavement.

The subdivision would be located just north of Town Hall on North Morton Street. The developers plan to develop a business park on the property. The development would receive town utilities in exchange for Miller and King not remonstrating against annexation.

Council members adopted a declaratory resolution for a proposed tax abatement requested by Lake Park Industries, authorized town representatives to negotiate the terms, and set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Aug. 22.  Lake Park is requesting an abatement for $9.3 million in manufacturing equipment and $200,000 in real estate improvements, according to Keith Gillenwater of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp.

Town Attorney Kurt Bachman said that the abatement would save the industry about $500,000 in property taxes.

The council authorized the Shipshewana Redevelopment Authority to re-finance up to $2.75 million in bonds for the construction of the Shipshewana Event Center.

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