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Gladieux Processing makes investment

November 24th, 2015

News Coverage:
Council approves abatement

By Rick Bannan rbannan@h-ponline.com | Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:00 pm

Huntington County Council approved a 20-year tax abatement for Gladieux Processing during the council’s Monday meeting in order to aid in an investment from the company needed for it to stay in business come 2017.

Huntington County Economic Development Executive Director Mark Wickersham came before the council to provide the county tax abatement advisory committee’s recommendation, which was for a 20-year abatement for 100 percent of taxes in that period.

Wickersham said the committee met on Nov. 13 to consider the statement of benefits and came to a unanimous decision to accept the maximum time frame and abatement amount as allowed under Indiana Code.

The abatement would be so that Gladieux could take on a project that would be a $9.4 million investment in the county. The project would be the installation of a kerosene hydrotreater, a unit used in the fuel refinement process.

The hydrotreater would allow Gladieux to comply with Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards on the amount of sulfur released from the use of fuel products from the refinery, Wickersham explained.

The investment would create four new jobs and retain 14, Wickersham added.

Wickersham said the committee had a number of reasons to recommend the abatement terms, though primarily the decision had to do with whether or not the investment would be taxable in the first place. He explained in an interview that based on two previous cases involving emission reduction investments from other companies, court rulings had the investment in equipment to be tax-exempt.

“There’s a real possibly that if the abatement is approved and the court issues a favorable ruling, it would simply not be relevant at that point because it would not be a taxable investment to start with,” Wickersham explained.

Wickersham said that regardless of the ruling on the pending litigation the EPA set a hard deadline of January 2017 for emission allowances. By that time refineries like Gladieux would need to have their product compliant “or the product would literally not be legal to purchase in this country,” he explained.

“If the court does not rule favorably, they are either going to need to make the investment or go out of business,” Wickersham said. 

The board voted 5-0 to approve the abatement. Board President Kendall Mickley, R-Dist. 2, and member Todd Landrum, R-Dist. 1, were absent.