By David Hazledine
MILFORD — Representatives of Chore-Time Brock attended meetings of the Milford Redevelopment Commission and town council Monday, April 12, to announce a plan to invest approximately $20 million to renovate approximately 38,000 square feet of its facility on the east side of SR 15, north of Milford.
Demolition is slated to begin after May 1 with new construction beginning in late August. The new facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
The project includes the expansion and modernization of the conference and communications center serving CTB and PigTek. Other improvements include a new indoor/outdoor break room for employees, upgraded telecommunications and computer networking, a new facade on the west and south sides of the building and a new parking lot.
According to Beth Cripe, CTB project manager, the updated space will accommodate up to 400 people and replaces a 25-year-old facility designed to hold 300.
“There’s a lot going on,” she stated, “We’re here to stay with this big project.”
CTB’s Steve Snyder commented on the “employee retention” benefits of the project. “Updating the facility makes retention of employees more likely and adds value to the community.”
Snyder also cited a study finding salaries paid in a community circulate seven times before leaving. “Employees spend money here and it stays in the community.”
CTB is also seeking help for the project from Milford Town Council and RDC in the form of a tax phase-in or abatement totaling $2 million spread out over several years.
RDC President Dan Brown explained “redevelopment does not do phase-ins or abatements.” Also, because the affected TIF district will expire within three years of the end of the project, it could not expect to collect funds to invest directly. Current funds, he added, are “committed to other projects.”
Therefore, he recommended a 10 year, 100% abatement to the council, which would raise the funds needed, citing 25 years of income to the TIF generated by CTP property taxes, which were used to make improvements in the district.
In the first of three steps, the council voted to confirm a declaratory resolution, which agrees on the economic revitalization area affected. This will be followed by a public hearing on the tax abatement, which will take place at the May 10 meeting of the town council, followed by a confirmatory resolution.
The following items were also addressed at Milford Town Council’s April 12 meeting:
Town Attorney Jay Rigdon said Ron Davidhizar had filed an appeal and review of Milford Building Commissioner Tom Bulger’s order to tear down houses at 605 Kenwood and 105 Maple streets. The council approved the transcription of a hearing held in fall 2020 by a court reporter for use in a pretrial conference.
The council heard no objections to the rezoning of the former Lakeland Health and Rehabilitation building to allow multi-family dwellings. The rezoning hearing took place April 13. Long commented the building was yet to be purchased and the planned apartment building project depends on rezoning.
A continuation of Chore-Time Brock’s tax abatements starting in 2014 was approved. Though the number of employees is 11 less than expected, salaries have increased considerably and CTB is $1.7 million over expectations.
The council heard the details of Office Concepts bid for printing and security at Milford Town Hall and community building, which came to $456.30 per month for 60 months. The bid was taken under advisement until more bids could be obtained.
Water operator Mark Brubaker reported Wheeling Bros. is waiting for IDEM approval before filling in five acres of former holding ponds on sewer plant property.
Utilities Superintendent Steven Marquart reported discussions are underway with NIPSCO regarding the addition of streetlights on Sixth Street and in North Park.
The council approved $4,585 to replace garage doors at the utility building.
Installation of ADA sidewalk approaches will begin May 1, said Marquart, followed by paving.
Council members approved a bid of $2,025.75 to replace the well house polyphosphate tank, which helps prevent pipe erosion.
Tricia Gall will attend an A.I.M. Clerk/Treasurer School workshop at a cost of $150. She will also join the Association of Public Treasurers and attend a three-day conference in South Bend at a cost of $499.
Staff photos will be taken and a directory created at a cost of $300.