Abatement considered for AK Industries

PLYMOUTH — In a time when cities need all the money they can get, the Plymouth Common Council is considering abating (waiving) taxes for AK Industries LLC in Plymouth.
At Monday night’s regular meeting, co-owner Butch Sabo and Derek Spier, Economic Development Specialist with the Marshall County Economic Development Commission, presented a request for tax abatement. The occasion was a formal public hearing which is required in such cases.
AK, located solely in Plymouth, employs 85 workers and maintains two manufacturing facilities and a headquarters here. The abatement request concerns planned expansion at the plant. The company wants to add physical space and purchase a major new machine for its operations. This will help ensure that the current employees all remain on the job, and will add four new hires to the workforce. The Council listened attentively and one or two members responded positively to AK’s request, saying that the expansion would benefit the city.
The actual request is for a three-year real estate abatement and a five-year personal property abatement. The Council will now take the request under advisement, since by law no decision may be made for 30 days.
Another public hearing was a part of the meeting in the matter of annexing Richter Road north of Baker Street. There were no public comments on this matter, and it will also rest in abeyance for 30 days.
In unfinished business, the Urban Forestry and Flower Committee of the city rounded out its membership with several new appointments. The Council nominated and voted to approve Shawn Grobe, 4th District Common Council member, and Steve Listenberger as its two appointments. As per ordinance, Cameron Arnold, City Arborculturalist, Michael Hite, Parks and Recreation Superintendent, and Jim Marquardt, Street and Sanitation Superintendent, were included on the committee. Mayor Mark Senter named as his appointees Luke Felde, Dan Shupert, Mike Wolfington, and Marianne Peters.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi presented three ordinances for first reading. They are:
• #2012-2045 – fixing salaries for the year 2013 for appointed officers and employees, and fire and police department personnel;
• #2012-2046 – fixing salaries for the year 2013 for the elected officials of the city of Plymouth; and
• #2012-2047 – amending the Code of Ordinances for Plymouth concerning depositories for city funds.
In addition, Surrisi presented for action the following resolution: #2012-510 – adopting a declaratory resolution designating certain real estate within the city of Plymouth to be within an “Economic Revitalization Area” for purposes of real property and personal property tax abatement (such as AK Industries LLC). This resolution was passed unanimously.
A necessary item was passed—acceptance of the Disclosure of Relative Contract with the city of Plymouth by At large Common Council member Mike Delp. Delp’s firm, Michiana Contracting, Inc., received the contract for the Headworks Influent Control Project, being the low bidder. Because Delp sits on the Council, state law requires full disclosure and transparency of the bidding process. This acceptance was passed unanimously with Delp abstaining from voting.