By BOB SHRALUKA
If all goes as planned, The Country Butcher, a beef processing facility, will be open in Decatur around late November.
Riggs Florence (left in photo, with Adams County Economic Development Director Colton Bickel), who will manage the family-owned facility situated in the former Dean Foods plant in Industrial Park I, was part of a three-man contingent appearing before Decatur City Council Tuesday night to seek a pair of tax abatements.
Council was asked to grant 10-year abatements for both real property and equipment, on behalf of I-O Properties, the umbrella company under which The Country Butcher operates.
The resolution was approved and at council’s next meeting, on June 6, a public hearing will be held, after which a resolution confirming the abatements is expected to be granted
The equipment, valued at approximately $9.63 million, will arrive in “roughly September and complete the process” to begin operations, Florence said.
Asked when the operation may start, Florence replied: “Late November, as of today.”
According to information provided the city, the business is expected to create 103 jobs, starting at $20 an hour and reaching over $24 an hour, including benefits. The total average payroll would be $6.6 million a year.
“This is a major investment in our community, for sure,” Mayor Dan Rickord said.
Rickord also pointed out that if the tax abatements are granted, “it does not mean they won’t be paying taxes.” The tax breaks are on a sliding scale.
Only in the first year will I-O not be paying taxes; by year 5, it will be paying 50% of its normal tax bill, City Attorney Anne Razo explained.
Later in the meeting, Mary Byer Montgomery told council, “You don’t have to do this too soon (grant the abatements); you don’t want to lose your leverage.”
Councilman Wiley Sirk, however, told her, “You have a good point, but there are codes to handle that (making I-O live up to its promises).”