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Tax abatement for Exo-S agreed

The LaGrange County Council agreed to waive formalities for a tax abatement following a public hearing on the issue at Monday’s meeting. This makes possible a 10-year tax abatement on $3,324,603 in real estate improvements and personal property for the company.

A statement of benefits shows 201 employees with salaries of $6,041,461 with an additional 50 employees and wages of $1,520,000 within a few years. The agreement shows a 3 percent return of the savings of taxes will go toward economic development. The statement of benefits and other paperwork has not been filed (as of Monday) as required. The abatement cannot become final until after the papers have been filed and the county council affirms the abatement.

Keith Gillenwater, president of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, said that Exo-S has already moved in some equipment and has about 40 employees working. “They are turning out some initial parts at this time,” he said.

Council failed to act on a proposed additional appropriation of $2,000,000 for a water tower at the Exo-S site. More information is needed before that will happen. Lacking is a final commitment from the firm of land for the erection of a public water tower at the site.

A water line from Fawn River Crossing to the Exo-S site is expected to be under construction soon. Nearly all the right-of-way agreements that will be needed have been signed.

In a related matter, Meredith Cameron, chair of the LaGrange County Redevelopment Com-mission (RDC), asked council members to consider appropriating up to $80,000 from TIF District 2 or Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) for subsidy to be paid to the LaGrange County Regional Utility District (LCRUD), for operations of the utility system at Fawn River in 2014. This contract is in place and is payable as long as needed.

There is about $550,000 in the TIF fund at this time with $375,000 committed to paying for the new water line to Exo-S. Income for the TIF district was $193,000 for 2013 and should be about the same for 2014.

Council agreed to advertise the additional appropriation with funding from both the TIF fund and EDIT fund.