Warsaw Common Council has voted to accept a resolution identifying an area of Warsaw an economic revitalization area. The purpose is to allow Wildman Business Group an opportunity to expand and apply for a tax abatement.
Josh Wildman addressed the council Monday night saying the business has plans to build a 12,000-square-foot warehouse and add $300,000 in permanent equipment. “It’s a half million dollar investment,” he said.
The requested economic revitalization area includes Wildman’s existing location on South Buffalo Street.
Monday night’s hearing was the public portion of the resolution. The council will officially vote to declare the area an economic revitalization at the June 18 meeting.
Prior to the vote, councilman Charlie Smith noted, “This is something we use as an economic tool to bring in new businesses and keep existing businesses here.” Councilwoman Diane Quance agreed adding, “They’ve been a great neighbor and they’ve been innovative in introducing new product lines.”
Three existing tax abatements were also discussed during the meeting. Compliance forms were reviewed for DePuy Orthopedics and Danco Anodizing. Both were grant 10-year tax abatements.
DePuy was granted a 10-year tax abatement in 2011 and planned to spend an estimated $9 million in personal property, specifically equipment for the manufacture of orthopedic equipment. City planner Jeremy Skinner recommended the city continue the DePuy’s tax abatement noting the company has complied with the conditions of the contract.
Danco Anodizing has two current 10-year tax abatements. The first tax abatement was granted in 2006 and was based on the company’s plan to spend an estimated $280,000 in manufacturing equipment and promised to employ 10 new workers. The company has thus far added $216,000 in equipment and added 43 new employees.
The second tax abatement was granted in 2007. At that time Danco estimated adding 14 new employees and purchasing $3.5 million in new manufacturing equipment and real estate. Skinner said on that contract Danco has added 43 new employees and spent an estimated $5 million in equipment and property. He recommended the city continue both tax abatements.
In two separate votes, the council unanimously approved the continuance of the abatements for DePuy and Danco.
In another matter, another unanimous vote occurred on the agenda item to annex two tracts of property adjacent to the Warsaw Municipal Airport. The newly annexed parcels include a 54.11-acre tract along CR 100 East and east of the airport, and a 62.21-acre tract on the south side of CR 300 North and west of CR 100 East.
A public meeting was held on the annexations at a May meeting and there was no remonstrance. The city already owns both tracts of land.
In other business:
It was announced that Warsaw has been chosen as the host for a Tree City USA Roundtable. The gathering will happen on July 12 as part of the Warsaw Park Board meeting, and will welcome delegates from as many as 60 Tree City USA communities.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer recognized clerk-treasurer Lynne Christiansen who has been awarded the designation of Indiana Accredited Municipal Clerk.
Thallemer gave an update on the city hall saying renovations are on schedule and additional costs are still under the estimated 8 percent the city initially figured may be necessary. Councilwoman Elaine Call asked if it would be possible to get a spreadsheet of all additional costs at the end of the project. Thallemer and Skinner said those spreadsheets are available now as all renovations and change orders are noted as they occur.
Councilwoman Cindy Dobbins gave an update on the downtown parking issue. The city is trying to determine what steps to take to improve parking and are asking all downtown businesses and employees as well as members of the general public to complete a parking survey online. The information is being collected and a public hearing will be held to discuss possible options. So far, the city has received approximately 300 completed surveys.
The next meeting of the Warsaw Common Council will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 18.