By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Kosciusko County Redevelopment Commission members discussed a proposed KEDCo incentives policy at their meeting on Thursday, Jan. 28.
The policy would set up formal rules for companies expanding or moving to the county regarding incentives like abatements, loans and more. It’s part of a new handbook KEDCo is working on.
It’s meant to guide leaders on granting those requests to companies. The county has never had a formal process for that in place before.
The proposed policy is based off one used in Allen County.
Redevelopment Commission Vice President Joni Truex said she had concerns regarding the amount of money companies had to contribute to KEDCo if they received some incentives from the county.
She also added that adjustments should be made to account for the differences between Allen County and Kosciusko County.
“We are not Allen County, we’re not Fort Wayne. We don’t have the population base, we don’t have the industry base; there’s a lot of differences,” Truex said.
She said she hoped to speak with someone from the consulting firm, Baker Tilly, about the issue during a special meeting of the redevelopment commission.
The commission plans to have a special training meeting with Baker Tilly sometime next month or in March.
US 30 update
Commission members also discussed having input in regard to proposed reconstruction of U.S. 30.
Commission Secretary Doug Hanes and former member Bruce Woodward had partnered to give input while Woodward was still on the board. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, they didn’t have any more discussion, said Hanes.
Commission members hoped to talk with the U.S. 30 Coalition, which represents each of the seven counties that stretch the length of the road from Fort Wayne to Valparaiso.
Kosciusko County leaders on the coalition include County Commissioner Cary Groninger and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.
Hanes brought a handout, which County Auditor Michelle Puckett distributed to all the other members.
It includes what the coalition sees as strengths and weaknesses of proposed changes to the highway. Readers may view it by clicking here.
In other business, the commission:
- Reorganized for 2021. Jan Orban is to continue serving as president and Truex as vice president. Hanes is to serve as secretary.
- Discussed having better communication between itself and county commissioners and the county council.
Truex, who is a county council member, said she believed each council member was supposed to start giving reports from the boards they served on at each council meeting. They had done that previously, but were to get back to doing it.
Council members did give reports from their boards at Thursday night’s meeting.
Orban said Puckett gave her a schedule of meetings for the commissioners and county council.
She was present at the council meeting Thursday night.
The commission’s next regular meeting is 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the Kosciusko County Courthouse’s Old Courtroom.