NAPPANEE — A public hearing was held at Monday’s City Council meeting for the proposed tax abatement for Tri State Crush (Agronomics).
Mark Dobson, president of Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County, spoke in favor of the tax phase-in.
“We support this project,” he said. “We think it’ll be transformative for the city of Nappanee.”
No one else spoke for or against the tax abatement for this company that will manufacture soybean meal and extract oil from soybeans at a facility at 302 S. Main St.
The council then approved a confirmatory resolution that stated Tri State Crush would be making a real estate investment of $2.6 million, including real estate improvements of $900,000 and $1.7 million in manufacturing equipment. In addition they will be adding no less than nine employees and all of this is to be done by July 31.The tax abatement will be for seven years.
Mayor Phil Jenkins encouraged Dobson to address the council further during public comments. He presented council members with their annual report and gave a brief update, stating that the county was at 50 percent of the projects and 50 percent of job growth in the region and retained 38,000 jobs. They also created a unified scoring sheet “for projects like this (Tri State Crush) so that Elkhart County can create a unified front with the type of support a business will receive.”
Dobson said the worker shortage number has varied. “I was the author of the 20,000 shortage,” he said, so they asked the governor’s
office for a better number. Dobson said he felt confident that the number arrived at, 9,500 was accurate. Dobson also reported that the website, Elkhartworks.com is still receiving 200 hits daily.