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County-bound Franklin Electric Co. in line for more incentives

In line for up to $360,000 in economic development income tax payments

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 7:19 am

Nearly two years after the announcement was made, Franklin Electric Co. is set to receive more incentives for moving its headquarters from Bluffton to Fort Wayne.

Allen County Council Thursday is expected to approve a deal that would pay the maker of submersible motors and pumps and other products as much as $360,000 if the company meets certain benchmarks for jobs, payroll and investment. As first reported by The News-Sentinel in June 2011 and officially announced two months later, Franklin is building a 110,000-square-foot office and research facility at 9333 Coverdale Road, which is expected to open later this year.

Allen County landed the company with the promise of about $2.7 million in state tax credits and a total incentives package estimated at $5.5 million or more. In addition to the tax credits, county Deputy Director of Economic Development Mark Royse said property taxes generated in the area will be used to pay for roads and other infrastructure improvements and county-approved bonds will lower the company's borrowing costs.

The proposal to be considered by Council Thursday – which will also require the approval of other city and county officials – will essentially allow the company to recoup county economic development taxes (CEDIT) generated by employees at the new facility through 2016.

To receive the maximum Local Economic Development for a Growing Economy (LEDGE) grant, the company must invest at least $19.3 million in its new facility by the end of next year and must employ at least 240 people with a total payroll of nearly $19.97 million by 2015.

Except for extraordinary circumstances, no payments will be made to the company if the number of full-time jobs falls below 80 percent of the expected number for more than three months in a given year.

The city will be responsible for 75 percent of the payments to Franklin, with the county covering the remaining 25 percent, Royse said.