Warsaw City Council OKs abatements for 4 local companies

May 22nd, 2019

By David Slone | Times-Union

On the agenda before the Warsaw City Council Monday was all business – from tax abatements and franchise fees to a report on Kosciusko Community Hospital.

City Planner Jeremy Skinner presented the continuation of the tax abatements and recommended that they all be approved as they’ve met all requirements. The council approved all of them as suggested.

Flexaust Co. Inc. had the most tax abatements, with nine entities, that date back to 2011, 2013 and 2017. It has locations on Armstrong Road, Leiter Drive and West Center Street. 

Councilwoman Diane Quance said, “I’m just excited that they continue to remain in our community. They continue to add new things and add new employees.”

“I don’t think we’ve heard the last of them,” Skinner said.

Next was Banner Medical Innovations Inc., which is located in the Warsaw Technology Park at 1295 Polk Drive.

Banner’s tax abatement is for personal property. It spent roughly $2.7 million in personal property, which is more about money spent than jobs created, Skinner said. Since 2016, Banner has added 23 employees and is in its third year of abatement. It estimated to add 75 jobs by the end of the abatement.

Dalton Corp.’s Warsaw manufacturing facility is in its last year of its tax abatement. It had personal property improvements done in 2007, spending about $5 million on manufacturing equipment.

The last tax abatement presented was for Whimet Inc. on North Detroit Street. Skinner said it applied for real and personal property tax abatements in 2009. It estimated to add 15 new jobs, but has added 28. It’s made about $746,000 in real property improvements. 

An unidentified representative of Whimet told the council, “It’s been a great year ... it’s going to be a busy year ... we appreciate your involvement and what you do for us.”

Earlier in the meeting, KCH CEO Jae Dale updated the council on the happenings at the hospital.

“I wanted an opportunity to present how we are connected to the community,” he said.

KCH has facilities mainly in the Warsaw area, but with some locations north and south of the county, he said.

Local taxes paid by the hospital in fiscal year 2018 totaled $1.48 million between property and sales taxes. Local charitable contributions and public service totaled $459,000.

“The economic impact of our salaries, wages, benefits, capital we spent, etc. was about $88 million,” he said.

Uncompensated care, which includes the underfunded cost of care, added up to about $38 million.

Altogether, KCH’s impact to the community for 2018 totaled $128 million, Dale said. 

It also had over 800 employees, and this year worked to provide 10 providers, 12 nurses and 43 other clinical and administrative positions.

“An area of job growth – health care continues to be an area that requires growth in many jobs and we currently have between 30 to 40 positions that we’re currently hiring for right now and are recruiting for,” Dale said.

He also talked about the county’s four large healthcare challenges and programs KCH offers to address those. They are infant mortality, obesity, tobacco use and opioid addiction. 

After the presentation, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer told Dale, “We sure thank you for your commitment to our community, especially those public health initiatives. Having those partnerships in the community, we know we can’t do it on our own, and certainly your commitment to that is certainly we are very appreciative of.”