The public hearing for a 10-year tax abatement requested by Biomet at last month’s Kosciusko County Council meeting was approved at the council’s April meeting. Biomet’s expansion, which includes the purchase of several parcels of land, is expected to create 150 jobs over five years.
Richard Helm, the attorney representing Biomet at the council meeting, reminded the council and attendants of the meeting that “there is accountability and it’s built into the state law.” Biomet is required to fill out an annual report. “Any incentives we receive is based on performance,” added Debra Laux, Biomet’s tax manager.
George Robertson, president of Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation, came before the council to endorse the tax abatement and expansion. “It’s a great growth of an existing business,” he said. “The economic impact of this project, beyond the company, is significant.”
Earlier in the day, the Kosciusko County Redevelopment Commission also voiced its support of the abatement, as did councilman Larry Teghtmeyer. However, councilman Jim Moyer proposed a shorter abatement period. “In light of the financial situation we’re looking at, I’m in support of a shorter abatement period,” said Moyer.
Ultimately the 10-year tax abatement was approved.
Also at the council meeting, Robertson gave a quarterly update on economic development. “We had a very good first quarter,” he said. Robertson explained there’s several big announcements in the pipeline. “We’re looking at a pretty good year this year,” he said.
Robertson also told the council the Kickstart program, designed to prepare entry-level employees for careers in the manufacturing industry, would be launching this summer. “Our target audience is thousands of young people in our community,” he said.
Also during the meeting, Bob Weaver of the health department requested that a part-time position be expanded to a full-time position for Helen Brown. Brown would be doing Medicaid coding. The position was approved.
County administrator Ron Robinson came before the council to announce that the stretch of Old Road 30 from Zimmer Road to 350 West would be under construction. The road will remain open, but flagmen will be present during portions of the construction.
At the end of the meeting, councilman Jon Fussle proposed that council meetings be videoed and broadcast on the county website. Council president Robert Sanders didn’t seem to approve of the idea and encouraged Fussle to get people to attend the meetings.
Other council members were open to the idea. Fussle was asked to run the idea by the Kosciusko County Commissioners. Sanders wanted to remind the public that council meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.