In a unanimous vote Friday, the Allen County commissioners ratified recent actions taken by the county Redevelopment Commission and the county Plan Commission to establish an economic development area near Allen County's General Motors plant.
Named the Stonebridge III Economic Development Area, the designation will cover land where OMD Holdings plans to build a 437,000-square-foot spec building, the Department of Planning Services' Scott Harrold told the commissioners Friday.
That building was originally intended to be 750,000 square feet but was scaled back. However, the building size could be expanded, Harrold said.
According to documents submitted to the commissioners, the Allen County Redevelopment Commission adopted a resolution to establish the new economic development area Oct. 13, with the Allen County Plan Commission following suit Oct. 15.
The Stonebridge II Economic Development Area was established in 2014.
Establishing the economic development area is a way for the county to recycle funds so they're available for future projects, or to invest in necessary infrastructure upgrades, Harrold said.
Creating an economic development area paves the way for the site to become a tax increment financing district and allocation area. That could make the site eligible for a tax abatement and allow the tax revenue generated by the increased property value to be captured and spent on infrastructure for the area.
“Right now, it looks like the developer is going to cover most of the infrastructure needs, so we hope it won't be too much, but it depends on who ends up locating there,” he said.
After Friday's vote, the matter will return to the county Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing and final vote.
In other business, the commissioners approved a $1,500 settlement payment to Nathan Newsom, who in 2016 filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Allen County Sheriff's Department, alleging mistreatment while in custody at the Allen County Jail.
The suit alleges that between March 23 and 29, 2015, prior to being booked into the Allen County Jail, Newsom was diagnosed with cellulitis that had developed into abscesses. Newsom's physician, the complaint states, advised him to shower several times a day. Once booked into the jail, the complaint alleges that Newsom was denied wound care and was not allowed to shower in accordance with his physician's recommendation.
The county denies any wrongdoing.