WARSAW — The creation of an innovation center between the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission, OrthoWorx Inc., and a yet to be named entity, was approved Monday evening, April 4, during the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission meeting. The announcement of another partner will be made today, Tuesday, April 5.
The commission agreed to enter into a collaboration agreement to pay $500,000 over six years in grant disbursements to OrthoWorx. The initial amount is $165,000 with yearly payments of $67,000. The program is part of the original Tech Park plan to set up an atmosphere for start-up companies, who could ultimately locate in the park. The funds will be used for the development the project, which has been worked on for many years.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer stated this was one of the tenants of the creation of the park, where the tax increment goes back into the park for improvements and toward development of an innovation center. “We have been working many years to try to come up with the proper model that will be collaborative with the obvious local industry that we have here.”
The Tech Park can capture up to $5 million in tax increments. “We’re committing the first $500,000 we received to this project,” said Jeremy Skinner, city planner. The tax increments are from state income and sales taxes to be reinvested locally.
Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx, stated it is an opportune time to capture the talent in the region, “to use it to broaden the economy and diversity the economy … We worked a long time on the model, tested it with quite a few potential collaborators. It’s the direction to help maintain Warsaw and our region,” he said. It will be an innovation center for medical devices at the start and may change over time.
Design Engineer Hired
The commission signed a contract with Troyer Group, Inc., Mishawaka, for design services on the CR 300N walk/bike trail. The contract is for $69,973. The trail will connect the Tech Park with the school and residential and commercial district on Sheldon Street. Skinner stated the intent is to do a portion of the project this year, however it will depend on the timing of the engineering and the county’s work on the bridge and side path.
“I’d like to piggy back the first leg of this, on their (the county) construction — Polk Drive to the Tech Park entrance, heading east back toward Sheldon Street,” said Skinner. “How much gets done this year depends on timing and cost of the project.”
During other business:
- Claims were approved from A &Z Engineering for, $10,012.50, for engineering on the Husky Trail roundabout; Faegre Baker Daniels, $4,882.50 for professional services regarding annexation discussions with the Matthews Development; and Reith Appraisal Service, $200 for right-of-way along CR 300N. Following lengthy discussion the commission voted not to pay the $8,160.91 NIPSCO bill until the issue over a contract is resolved.
- Received a draft for review of the Warsaw Tech Park progress to submit for recertification at a later date.
- Received the final report of the Development Commission which is due to the state by April 15. The report provides information from 2015 on each of the tax increment financing districts created by the Redevelopment Commission and Authority.
- Brief discussion regarding demolition of the Gatke building was held. Quotes will be sought for demolition, which may take part in different stages as funds are available.
The next meeting of the commission will be at 4 p.m. Monday, May 2.