Goshen to Help Liegl Develop Land in 2011
The city of Goshen, Ind., will help Forest River Inc.’s Pete Liegl in 2011 develop land he owns on the city’s north side.
It’s one of several pro-business measures the city will undertake in the coming year, according to a year-end review published by The Goshen News.
Mayor Allan Kauffman is looking at preparing land for development as a main goal for 2011, looking closely at the 200 acres on the north side of town owned personally by Liegl. The land is already zoned industrial and planned for use as an industrial park.
“That land is probably as prime for industrial development as any,” Kauffman said, “and it has the best access to the toll road, which is important.”
He said city officials have looked at the area earlier, but at the time the cost of running utilities to the site would have been $1 million to $1.5 million or more. Kauffman also said the city might have to pay the utility extension costs itself and pay itself back through a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.
The city is also in the process of looking at what can be done with TIF funds for training grants.
Overall, in recapping the city’s 2010 progress, Kauffman said, “I don’t think we’ve seen a more active year,” he said.
He noted Goshen has received “more than its fair share” of stimulus money, which helped with paving projects. Kauffman also pointed out the number of projects the Goshen Redevelopment Commission is overseeing is amazing.
“There’s just a tremendous amount of stuff that’s happening from that annex building,” Kauffman said of the city office building.
Kauffman noted one particular development during the year.
A property tax abatement program was approved for vacant industrial properties in a designated area of the city, and the first abatements have been approved. The first abatement under the program, however, was vetoed by the mayor after the criminal history of the building’s proposed tenant, a former executive at a Sturgis, Mich., RV firm, was discovered. No such issues have come to light regarding the remainder of the abatements.
Still, Kauffman believes 2011 will be a much calmer year with fewer projects.