MICHIGAN CITY — A Fortune 500 company is coming to town, offering hundreds of high-paying jobs.
The city took initial steps to annex 147 acres on the south side of town to prepare for the new plant. The company, which has not yet been named, has signed a letter of intent to purchase the property once it is annexed, said Clarence Hulse, executive director of Economic Development Corp. Michigan City. His group has been working with the company for about nine months.
The property is on the south side of US 20 between Johnson and Pahs roads, across from Evergreen Plaza. The company chose the site because it’s flat, has easy truck access to US 20 and can be easily annexed, Hulse said.
A large building will be erected there. With hundreds of jobs, the company will attract workers from across the region, he said.
“We are thrilled to be sought out by a Fortune 500 company,” Hulse said. For a small town, Michigan City punches above its weight, he said.
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Real estate attorney Brad Adamsky told city council that the city and Economic Development Corp. Michigan City had helped so far. “It’s still only the beginning of this annexation process,” he said.
The council unanimously approved a tax plan that detailed a positive financial impact on the city of annexing the land. A public hearing will take place at the council hearing on April 5.
It takes 90 days to annex a property, Hulse said.
“It’s an exciting time as we see progress across the city and create good-paying jobs,” said City Council President Angie Deuitch, D-At-Large, who is sponsoring the ordinance to annex the property.
The north side of town is hot with Double Track NWI bringing in an $80 million development as part of the station and booming residential and commercial development nearby. But that’s only one aspect of what’s happening in the city, Deuitch said.
The company specifically wanted to be inside the city because it is impressed with the city council’s administration and leadership, he said. Water and sewer service is available on site.
Councilman Bryant Dabney, D-1st, lobbied for the annexation of areas along the city’s outskirts.
“We have so many properties on the outskirts of town, but they have access to our sewers and water, but we don’t get the property taxes,” he said. “I think we’re getting ripped off with this. I’m a bit disgusted by the number there are.
Dabney is heartened that the company specifically asked to be part of the town. He signed as co-sponsor of the prescription. Dabney wants to see additional annexations, especially where city utilities are expanded. “The sewers are costing us a ton of money to run to these places.”
“I would really like us to step on the accelerator here,” he said. “The rest of Michigan City residents subsidize them with their services.”
“It’s time for us to be aggressive,” Dabney added.