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Huntertown gives county tax rights on area factory

Huntertown Council members agreed Monday to waive their authority as a taxing district of an aluminum manufacturer to Allen County.

One year ago, Huntertown officials granted a three-year tax abatement to Parco Inc., a specialized aluminum company that was located at 16335 Lima Road. But the company recently moved to 9100 Front St., near West Wallen and Lima roads in Fort Wayne.

The original tax break allowed property taxes on the $184,250 investment to be phased in during a three-year period.

Tax abatement is a way local government can entice new businesses or retain existing jobs and exempts all or a portion of a company’s increased assessed value on new investment from property taxes.

Monday’s county-town agreement was necessary after Allen County Council members granted a different tax abatement on the company’s new site on Jan. 17.

That two-year incentive involved a vacant building deduction, which can only be granted if the building has been vacant more than one year. The 55,000-square-foot building was previously occupied by Paragon Industrial Supply LLC, but that company ceased operations more than two years ago.

Addressing the council’s main concern, Nicole Liter, an Allen County economic development specialist, said Parco’s terms would be fulfilled for the duration of Huntertown’s abatement agreement – two more years.

The company also does business as Moon River LLC and posted about $3 million in sales last year. The company employs 18 but plan to hire six new employees within 12 months, according to records filed with the county. Areas of employment will include design, customer service, manufacturing and sales.

Town workers to mop after contract canceled

In other business, a majority of the council agreed to eliminate the town’s cleaning service. Instead, employees will take on the duties of vacuuming, mopping, dusting and emptying trash.

The town currently contracts with Ciocca’s Cleaning and Restoration, but Councilman Mike Akers said it would save the town $100 a week by ceasing the bi-weekly cleaning service.

“There’s nothing they do that couldn’t be done by us,” Akers said. “It’s very light stuff.”

Akers said he had talked to the town superintendent, Tom Gongwer, who said he was in favor of dropping the cleaning company.

But Gongwer’s wife, Sue Gongwer – who is also president of the council – was against the proposal.

“I think it’s unprofessional to ask our employees to clean toilets and sweep,” she said.

Employees will be responsible for cleaning after March 1.

vsade@jg.net

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