Flexaust is looking to purchase a building at 1605 W. Center St. in Warsaw and company officials are hoping the city of Warsaw will consider a tax abatement for both real and personal properties.
Flexaust is currently using the former Midwest Rake building and plan to ask for the abatement for that facility.
According to attorney Rick Helm, who represents Flexaust, under state guidelines an abatement for an existing property is possible when the facility has been vacant for at least a year. The building at 1605 W. Center St. was vacant for approximately two years before Flexaust began utilizing it. “So I guess you could always say it’s not vacant now,” Helm told Warsaw Common Council members Monday night.
The company last night only sought approval by the city to advertise for a public meeting regarding the proposed tax abatement. It was already granted abatements in 2006 for the expansion of the manufacturing plant at 1510 Armstrong Rd., and in 2010 for the purchase of a property at 602 Leiter Rd.
Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner told the council that both abatements are current and active and Flexaust has even surpassed the terms. “They’ve employed more people that was anticipated,” he said.
During what will be a public meeting anticipated to be held at the council’s March 18 meeting, Flexaust is expected to ask for the tax abatement in anticipation of purchasing the West Center Street building at a cost of $850,000, and add $3 million in new manufacturing equipment. A total of 40 new jobs would be created over the next 10 years.
Councilman Charlie Smith, who also serves on the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp., said, “This ties in with KEDCo goals for job retention.”
The council gave the approval for the matter to be publicized for a March 18 public hearing.
In other city business, a request by Mike Lewis of Lewis Salvage to vacate a public right-of-way was approved. Lewis asked the council to vacate White Industrial Drive in an effort to amp up security measures. The area also serves as access to property owned by Kim Cox, but the men have agreed to the vacation and to Cox maintaining an easement to his property.
Skinner told council members, “I don’t see why it’s in the best interest of the city to keep it. I see no issue with vacating it as long as access is given to the other property.”
In a final act, the council approved the transfer of $56,000 to a Cumulative Capital Development fund to pay for engineering fees for the Husky Trail project. Land acquistions are expected to be completed by the end of 2014 with construction on the new and improved road to begin in 2015.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, March 18, in city hall.