SIDNEY — An ordinance authorizing a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement for Airstream Trailers Inc. was approved Monday night by Jackson Center Council. The abatement is for a future expansion which will result in 70 new jobs.
“This move is consistent with what we’ve offered in the past for Airstream and other local businesses, we will continue to offer abatements to encourage growth in local manufacturing which will result in significant contributions to our village and local community in a number of ways,” said Mayor Scott Klopfenstein. “Giving them the tax abatement will have a positive long-term trickle-down effect that will help them to help us in terms of new jobs and all the commerce associated with the added business.”
Village Zoning Enforcement Officer Ed Maxwell pointed out that in the past some local businesses participated in a PILOT program (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) which consists of businesses making substantial financial contributions to Jackson Center Schools in lieu of paying taxes.
“That way the money goes directly to the kids in our community,” said Maxwell. “I’m not sure if Airstream plans to do so again but they have in the past as has Platipak Packaging and others.”
In other business, council also had the first reading of an ordinance to rezone approximately 7 acres of property owned by Airstream which is currently zoned R-1 (residential) with intentions of making it I-1 (industrial) for the expansion of its manufacturing facility.
“The first reading initiates the process of notifying those who own property next to the proposed expansion via personal correspondence and public newspaper announcements. This gives everyone affected a chance to address any concerns that may arise,” sai Village Administrator Bruce Metz.
The ordinance will be voted on June 12.
Council also passed an ordinance authorizing certain adjustments in the 2017 annual appropriations to pay for the new emergency radios used by the village fire and rescue departments. Revenue monies totaling $20,496 from a state grant were moved from the revenue funds to the appropriations budget to allow for payment of the new radios which have greatly improved emergency communications.
Metz provided updates on the new drive improvement project on the west side of town noting the completion date of July 1 was on target.
“The curbs will be poured soon and the new decorative light poles installed,” said Metz, who also noted work has begun on installing new drainage tile in the soccer field in the city park on the south side of town.
“Installment of the tile has begun despite recent heavy rainfall and construction of a water retention basin is also underway. We will be moving some of the residual topsoil from the project to the new solar field project which will get underway in September,” said Metz.
Metz also reported on the trip to the solar field dedication in Bowling Green.
“It went well and we are excited about the installation of the new state-of-the-art electrical generation field,” he said.
Metz also said the swimming pool maintenance is nearly complete and preparations for the new building at the sewage are underway and on schedule.
Village resident Chad York addressed the council asking questions about an easement for electrical cables that will go through his back yard to provide power for the new Casey’s General Store that will be built on the west side of town along state Route 274. York had questions about the location of the cable and whether or not the easement would affect his ability to construct a new garage or storage shed in the future.
Metz said he and Dave Overman, village electrical superintendant, would go out to the proposed site and mark where the cable will be installed. He said it should not interfere with any future construction needs and was a necessary move to provide three-phase power to the area.
Construction of the Casey’s General Store will start as soon as all county and state permits and zoning needs are satisfied. Casey’s General Store will offer gas and groceries, a bakery and freshly prepared hot foods.They have recently opened similar stores in Cridersville and Fort Loramie and have been well received in those villages.
Maxwell said Casey’s has acquired a permit from the village of Jackson Center for a sign and village zoning changes have been approved.
“There is nothing holding them back on our end, but they’re waiting on several OKs for the county and state to proceed with the demolition of existing structures on the property where the new store will be located,” said Maxwell.
Casey’s has declined the offer for a village tax abatement to save time on getting the project underway.
After addressing the regular business affairs council moved to go to executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.
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