By BOB SHRALUKA
A pair of tax abatements for I-O Properties, which is setting up a beef processing facility in Decatur, sailed through city council Tuesday night with no objections.
At the previous meeting, council had approved a resolution declaring the facility, which is known as the Country Butcher, an economic revitalization zone.
Tuesday night, council passed what is known as a confirming resolution, or final approval.
There are two abatements, one for real property and one for equipment. The equipment to be installed amounts to just over $9.3 million, while I-O’s investment in real estate totals over $6.6 million.
I-O officials said at a previous meeting that its total investment is expected to create some 103 jobs, starting at $20 an hour and reaching $24, with benefits.
The total average payroll will be approximately $6.6 million a year, according to those officials.
Councilman Craig Coshow, a strong supporter of the new business, pointed out that the I-O abatements are on a sliding scale. I-O will pay no taxes the first year, then 90% of its tax bill the second year, 80% the third, etc., until the abatements will provide tax savings of only 10% the final year.
Coshow also noted that “the timing is so important” to get the abatements approved as I-O officials can now move full-steam ahead getting the operation going in the former Dean Foods plant in Industrial Park.
During the public hearing, three people spoke in favor of the operation.
Dan Buchanan said he’s a corn farmer and called the facility “a pretty big opportunity for Adams County and surrounding counties. It’s a positive.”
Decatur resident Melissa Hamrick labeled the Country Butcher operation “a great opportunity for Decatur.” She said the family-owned business has an operation in Coldwater, Ohio, “and it’s operated just fine.”
Barb Affolder said that as a co-owner of the ABCinema in Decatur she is well acquainted with tax abatements, “and they are an economic help for any business that’s getting started.”
Meanwhile, Mary Montgomery Byer said while she is neither for nor against the facility, but was asking “that they live up to their promises (of how the operation is run). We need to make sure that they are going to do what they said they are going to do.”
After the final vote, Councilman Matt Dyer looked to the several I-O people on hand and said, “thank you for your investment in our community.”