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Tuesday October 16, 2018

tax abatement taken away

Thursday, December 21, 2017 14:55 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A local manufacturing firm had its tax abatement revoked on its investment in Michigan City.

Calumet Pallet at 4333 Ohio St. moved here in 2013 from Hammond.

The city council Tuesday night revoked the 10-year tax abatement citing failure by the maker of wooden pallets to live up to projections in areas like job growth in exchange for the tax break.

''We don't want to look like we're anti-business but we're giving you significant money for these companies to do what they say they are doing to do and they have not complied,'' said councilman Bryant Dabney.

The decision was also influenced by a dozen citations for alleged code violations.

Michigan City fire marshal Kyle Kazmierczak said none of the code violations like pallets stacked too close to fire hydrants and sprinkler system not being maintained have been rectified by owner Jeff Bridegroom.

''He made promises but nothing has been addressed at all,'' said Kazmierczak.

Clarence Hulse, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, suggested the company be given another chance to keep the tax abatement on its $2.7 million dollar investment on a 93,000 square foot facility.

The vote to pull it, though, was unanimous.

''We have made numerous attempts to work with this gentleman. We have not seen a bit of action,'' said Sue Downs, director of code enforcement.

Councilman Tim Bietry also said Bridegroom wrote a letter he felt was insulting to local government and citizens ''who he claims are unwilling to work and show up on time for work.''

Hulse said about 40 people are employed at the company, which also repairs old pallets and recycles pallets into products like mulch and animal bedding.

He also said the company never collected on the tax abatement because the necessary paperwork was never submitted to the LaPorte County Clerk's office as required.
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