Two separate votes by the Goshen City Council could lead to 96 new jobs in the RV industry.
According to a report in the Goshen News, the council supported proposals benefitting a pair of RV companies — one a start-up venture, the other an established supplier with expansion plans.
Carl and Shirley Van Gilst had sought a two-year tax abatement for the building at 2502 Dierdorff Road. The Van Gilst plan is to lease the 23,000-square-foot facility — vacant since 2008 — to Eterniti RV Co. In other action, council members also took the next step toward a tax abatement sought by Lippert Components Inc. Company officials are looking to expand manufacturing operations at 3048 Skyview Drive in Goshen.
Lippert plans to invest $175,000 in new manufacturing equipment and will hire 80 more employees by the end of next year. The new hires would bring total employment at the site to 825.
Lippert is seeking a phase-in yielding tax savings of $4,768 over three years on equipment purchased for the project.
Council members determined Lippert was eligible for a phase-in. Final action will take place at a future council session.
According to information presented to council members, Eterniti is a start-up recreation vehicle manufacturer that intends to export RVs to Europe and Australia. The products will be built to European and Australian specifications, and frames for the RVs will be imported from Germany.
Eterniti officials anticipate 16 employees at the Dierdorff location earning an average annual wage of $36,317.
Van Gilst said the project will not only bring jobs and money to Goshen, “it also takes money from Europe and delivers it to the United States because they’re exporting RVs.”
The abatement will save the Van Gilsts close to $27,000 over two years.
Council members approved the phase-in in a 6-0 vote. Councilman and GOP mayoral candidate Don Riegsecker, Van Gilst’s stepson, recused himself from the vote.
Tuesday’s City Council action wasn’t the group’s first on a tax abatement at 2502 Dierdorff. Last year, Van Gilst sought and received a phase-in for an RV start-up at the building to be run by Ray Belcher.
However, Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman vetoed the resolution after Belcher’s criminal history came to light. Council members didn’t override the veto, and Belcher told The Goshen News at the time he’d chosen not to pursue creating the company.