At its July Meeting of the Kosciusko County Council, the council received Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation’s second quarter report, reviewed the proposed budgets for many local non-profit organizations and reviewed tax abatements for R.R. Donnelley.
“We’re number two in terms of projects,” said KEDCo president George Robertson, echoing Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Dave Behr’s report to the Kosciusko County Redevelopment Commission earlier that day.
“I hate to use the phrase ‘too busy,'” Robertson said. He announced that there are currently 12 projects in the pipeline, and that he would have two new announcements to bring before the council within the next six weeks.
Robertson also reported that employment numbers for the month of May were released. Kosciusko County was up 400 jobs, giving it one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.
Robertson attributes this success to the formation of KEDCo, to the local government and the county’s workforce. “Our workforce is just incredible,” Robertson said. “We think this will be the best year we have in terms of growth.”
Kosciusko Kickstart’s website is now live. “Our employers are really excited about it,” said Robertson.
There’s a section on the site that displays the various career pathways a person could take, should they undertake the Kosciusko Kickstart program. “You can go as far as you want,” Robertson said. “We’re going to give [students] a job where they can buy a house in this county. They can have a future in this county.”
John Pierog of local communications company R.R. Donnelley, came before the council to request a tax abatement in preparation for an expansion. R.R. Donnelley is preparing to take on a new client and bring in new equipment.
The new equipment would make R.R. Donnelley a state-of-the-art facility, and would add 75 new jobs to the area. “This would be a big part of our ability to compete,” said Pierog.
“We’ve been here for 55 years. We have over 400 employees in the Warsaw plant,” continued Pierog. “We train our own people. We have a very extensive training program.”
“We hope to have some of the equipment started first quarter of next year,” Pierog said. “We would probably start to hire people late in the year.”
The council will take this request under advisement. However, it did approve a personal property abatement for R.R. Donnelley that was requested at a previous meeting.
Regarding tax abatements, council member Larry Teghtmeyer said, “Our job here is making business decisions, making multi-million dollar investments, and providing quality careers.”
“Its not that they are not paying taxes, or reduced taxes, they are not,” continued Teghtmeyer. “But they are bringing careers into this county.”
The final order of business for the council was going over the proposed 2015 budgets for local non-for-profit organizations. The total projected increase for the NFP budget is $74,067.
The council received detailed budgets and were addressed directly be each organization during the meeting. The council will now review those budgets.
Additionally, all transfers and appropriations listed on the agenda were approved by the council.