MILFORD — Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation is working with an undisclosed company in the marine industry on plans to establish a new facility in the Milford area, according to Alan Tio, KEDCo CEO, who made the announcement at the Monday, Aug. 12, meeting of the Milford Redevelopment Commission.
“Project Marine” is expected to generate up to 72 jobs with an average wage of $24.80 per hour by 2024. Expenditures on building improvements and equipment purchases are estimated at $1 million during that time as well.
Tio also informed the commission he estimates the project to generate around $5,700 per year in local property taxes and $75,000 per year in local income taxes.
Due to the three to six months of training company leaders expect new hires will need, Tio recommended Milford Redevelopment Commission provide tax incremental funding at its disposal as a further incentive; one he believes would be more beneficial than a tax abatement, which would only save the company around $3,000 per year during 10 years.
The commission passed a motion to provide a training grant of $500 per person and allow Carson LLP, a firm with experience setting up TIF training programs, to work out a proposal.
Tio was not at liberty to answer all of the commission’s questions this early in the process. “I cannot share a lot right now,” he averred; however, he did indicate the project involves an existing building within Milford town limits. He also said the company already has existing operations elsewhere in northern Indiana. Chuck Bird’s question if the company worked with fiberglass remained unanswered.
Members agreed with President Dan Brown that helping with training “would be positive,” regardless of whether of not the state is involved.
Member Doug Ruch commented on the “trickle-down to the local economy” provided by the company. “70 employees in three years is not too bad a labor force to bring to town.”
Tio expressed his enthusiasm the project would support the recreation industry, which he called Kosciusko County’s “third leg of the stool” economically, along with orthopedics and agriculture.
Along with the training grant, the commission also passed a motion to add $30,000 to its training/grants budget for 2020 “in anticipation of upcoming projects,” said Brown. “With KEDCo’s approach to the market we’re probably going to see more activity,” he added.