OFS expansion begins process for city approval


HUNTINGBURG — OFS’ plan to expand its logistics building is making its way though the legal channels.

The Huntingburg Common Council approved on Thursday an order from the Huntingburg Planning Commission that states OFS’ plans are in accordance with the city’s comprehensive plan and the existing zoning for the area, which is heavy industrial.

OFS wants to expand the logistics building to consolidate its logistics operations into the 1008 Styline Drive facility, which will be a $13 million project. The facility is in the city’s Northwest Industrial Park Economic Development Area.

The company receives parts and supplies from national and global companies, which are used at its local plants. OFS wants to make the Styline building big enough to store all parts materials and become the central location for its trucks to pick up materials to deliver to other OFS plants.

OFS plans to first expand the building to the south, Planning Director Paul Lake told the council Thursday. OFS will expand the facility to north at a later time.

As part of the plans, OFS wants to create a new tax increment financing district on the undeveloped land around the existing plant. Doing this will benefit the city, Lake explained.

“There is no tax increment coming off that ground at this point. So it’s not calculated into any obligations the city has,” he said. “It leaves alone the existing tax increment within the Northwest Industrial Park allocation area.”

Ultimately, if all agencies agree to the plans, TIF bonds will be purchased by OFS.

The Huntingburg Redevelopment Commission has said that it is open to amending the Northwest Industrial Park’s economic development plan to allow the creation of the new district on the undeveloped land, Lake said.

Both Lake and Mayor Denny Spinner emphasized that this is the beginning of a long process that will include presentations before different city boards. A series of public hearings will be held to get input from the public about the plan, including hearings in front of the redevelopment commission and the Huntingburg Economic Development Commission.

The council also:

• Approved an ordinance creating conflict of interest rules for a zoning administrator, building commissioner, building code official and building inspector; for Huntingburg, this would affect its planning director. The rule had to be established per a new state law that went into effect recently, City Attorney Phil Schneider explained. In cases where the planning director runs into a conflict of interest concerning a building application, the mayor, with consultation from the city attorney, would appoint someone to work with that application and applicant.

• Hired Schmidt Contacting to fix the electric department control center’s roof for $18,200. The work will start in September or October, Utility Superintendent John Reutepohler said.

• Heard that hydrant flushing will start Sept. 3.

• Heard that the last 4th Friday event will be held from 4 to 11 p.m. today at Market Street Park. Three bands — Andromedaughter, Crossroads Quintet and The Dusty Miller Band — will perform and there will be a variety of food trucks on site. The event is free to the public.

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