North Central Cooperative Inc. announced today that it would expanding its operations to Kosciusko County.
According to a press release, the company will invest $8.27 million renovate to equip two buildings on a 78-acre crop service center in Mentone, adding more than 18,000 square-feet of production and office space.
“Indiana knows agriculture. To cultivate agricultural business, it takes a strong business environment planting the seeds for growth,” wrote Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Here in Indiana, we are proud to offer an experienced workforce and low-tax policies, which continue to make Indiana a state that works for agribusiness.”
The expansion is expected to produce at least 15 new jobs in the area, and enable the Wabash-based, farmer-owned and controlled co-op to centralize and expand its services to better serve its customers. Additionally, a new TIF district could be established in the area to improve infrastructure in Mentone.
Rob Zeldenrust, senior agronomy manager at NCC, and Rob Young of The Hagerman Group appeared before the Kosciusko Redevelopment Commission at its meeting today to discuss plans for the new TIF. “Roadways are an issue, fiber optic’s an issue. We specifically asked for assistance in upgrading these areas,” said Young. “If we create a TIF zone, we could solve some of these infrastructure issues,” said KEDCo President George Robertson.
The district will span east to west from 1000 West to 700 West and from north to south from SR 25 to 600 South. In addition to road and telecom improvements, TIF funds could be used for a wide array of projects, from sewer, wastewater and water treatment to economic development and rail facilities to job training funding, fire equipment and much more. “This will be really important for that part of the county,” said commissioner Larry Teghtmeyer.
“North Central Co-Op has been a long time member of our agri-business community,” wrote Bob Conely, commissioner of Kosciusko County. “Kosciusko County is proud to have been chosen as the site for their expanded farm service center. This is an important development for the Burket-Mentone area and the county is committed to provide the infrastructure needed for this growing business.”
The redevelopment commission approved a declaratory resolution supporting the TIF. The proposition will be going before the Kosciusko County Commissioners.
“I can tell you with complete honesty, we put this project at the top of our priority list,” said Zeldenhurst. “We expect to be in trial operations by December.
Based on the new project, NCC was offered up to $115,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, claimable after hiring Hoosiers. At the behest of KEDCo, Kosciusko County is considering additional incentives.