Dale company renovating Ferdinand building


FERDINAND — The former DMI building in Ferdinand will house a new company next year.

Universal Package of Dale plans to move into the building, located at Virginia Street between Third and Fifth Streets, and that plan moved one step closer to reality Tuesday night.

The Ferdinand Town Council approved a confirmatory resolution to make the area an economic development revitalization area. With that, the tax abatement request from Universal Package was also approved. Councilman Ron Weyer recused himself from voting because the company he works for may do electrical work for Universal Package in the future.

Universal Package is planning to renovate the building, company owner Mike Brandes explained previously. Part of the building will be demolished and rebuilt, and the rest will be remodeled. Brandes first approached the council in October 2018 about its renovation plans, which included buying the facility from the Jasper Group.

The $2.1 million investment will bring at least 21 jobs to the town, Brandes said. Universal Package hopes to move into the facility by July.

The real estate abatement that was granted will be for nine years, Town Attorney Sharon Bohnenkemper explained. The first six years will be at 100% abatement, the seventh year at 75% abatement, the eighth year at 50% abatement, and the ninth year at 25% abatement.

“Thank you for all your help,” Brandes said Tuesday night after the council’s approvals.

“We look forward to seeing the transformation,” Councilwoman Debbie Johnson said.

The council also:

• Acknowledged Dolores Boeglin’s 20 years of service on the Ferdinand Park Board by presenting her with an inscribed silver platter and a set of glasses. Boeglin has decided to not serve another four-year term. The council will look for a person to replace her on the board.

• Heard Council President Ken Sicard reappoint Brett Schipp and Margie Stallman to four-year terms on the Ferdinand Plan Commission, Roger Corley to a four-year term on the Ferdinand Economic Development Commission and Bev Schulthise to another one-year term on the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission. One more person is being sought to fill another position on the plan commission.

• Accepted the retirements of Brett Giesler and Jamison Denning from the fire department, and hired Benjamin Hayden as a firefighter.

• Gave Police Chief Lloyd Froman permission to seek reserve officer applicants. The department currently has three reserve officers, Froman said.

• Approved the town’s Title VI plan, which lists plans to improve facilities, meetings and the town’s website in the future to accommodate those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired and speak a different language.

• Learned that the Ferdinand Economic Development Commission will present to the council its plan for a revolving road loan program. That presentation will be done at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, during the council’s regular meeting.

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