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Shipshewana Council okays Open Range abatements

The Shipshewana Town Council approved a resolution for two tax abatements for Open Range RV and RPG Investments LLC for a proposed expansion of the RV manufacturer.

RPG Investment LLC is the owner of the property, while Open Range RV is the operating entity.

The request was for 10-year abatements on real estate improvements and personal property improvements.

Open Range RV is look to add $580,000 in real estate improvements through an addition to its plant on the north side of Shipshewana. The company is also looking to add $475,000 in equipment with the addition of a CNC router. The addition will be a 21,500 sq. ft. building that will connect two existing buildings, helping keep the products inside and make the process more efficient.

Open Range hopes to complete the addition in April 2012 and plans to add 10-15 jobs, with a total gross salary increase of $450,000 to $675,000.

Lora Tormanen spoke to the board, noting that the LaGrange County EDC was in support of the abatements.

The council was told that the town had received one letter, from Mitchell Lucas, that was in objection to the abatements.

The council approved a resolution for a 10-year abatement on the real estate improvements and five years for personal property.

In other business:

The council opened bids for a new town snowplow truck. Three bids were received: Palmer Truck of Ft. Wayne submitted a bit of $160,996; Norris Truck Service of LaGrange submitted a bid of $142,409; and Hill Truck Sales of Elkhart submitted a bid of $138,595.

The council took the bids under advisement and expects to act on the bids at the first meeting in January.

The council also approved hiring two reserve police officers – Carl Miller and Matt Schwartz.

The council was told that the new police vehicle for the K-9 unit will be completed once the department receives a final piece of equipment. The department said that the K-9 cage was built locally by Wingard Sales, which saved the department a considerable amount of money.