The Washington Times-Herald

November 15, 2012

Council declares economic recovery area

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — The Daviess County Council started the first steps to support MacAllister Machinery on Wednesday by declaring the area an Economic Recovery Area.

The unanimous declaration paves the way for tax abatements for the company’s $9 million expansion, creating 61 jobs. A vote on a future abatement will come in December.

Last month, the Indianapolis-based heavy equipment dealer announced plans to add 50,000 additional square feet to its building at the U.S. 50 bypass and CR 150S. The construction is to expand its service of Caterpillar heavy equipment and new generator business.

The expansion will add 60 jobs by 2013. Representatives from MacAllister at the council meeting said those jobs will have an average salary of $30 an hour.

“Thanks to MacAllister’s for expanding,” Council President Mike Sprinkle said. “It’s not only good we are bringing new businesses in, but we are expanding the ones we already have.”

According to Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, the MacAllister area will abut current Economic Revitalization Areas at GPC and tax increment financing areas south of the city of Washington.

The designation will increase property values, Arnold said, and will be available for state incentives.

MacAllister’s said in a release the company will hold a ground breaking for the new expansion on Tuesday.

Settlement payments

The council approved several payments Wednesday in connection with the Bennington Levee breach.

The first was $6,000 as a settlement payment with William Robinson for claims on the south breach. The commissioners approved the payment as part of a $50,000 settlement with its insurance carrier in a special meeting last week.

The county’s riverboat fund will pay $122,361 for expenses to get the Bennington Levee back into compliance with the Army Corps of Engineers. The amount is also for legal expenses and work at the levee and is the county’s obligation for the north breach.

The council also approved $404,968 in work to repair the north breach. The funds come from a settlement with  individuals earlier this year.

Health position

The council approved an additional $8,000 for the Health Department to move a part-time position to full time with benefits.

The position is for a full-time environmentalist and will start at $28,000 a year plus benefits. The move, according to Kathy Sullender and Geoff Stoner of the department, was to cover the loss of John Rang.

Rang, a part-time inspector, died last month and Stoner believes many of his duties will need a full time position.

“Public health can be a beast all its own,” Sullender said. “When issues arrive, they can be very time consuming but public health is very important.”

The new position will split many of the duties and inspections with Stoner. He said there is enough work for five full-time employees, but an assistant will help.

The position goes into effect on Jan. 1. The health department will start interviewing candidates.