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Redevelopment hearing on TIF zone tonight

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

The Wabash Redevelopment Commission will meet at 4 p.m. in City Hall this afternoon for a public hearing to expand the Cinergy MetroNet Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District to include 10X Engineered Materials, a clean-tech startup which will open its first operations center in Wabash.

The company is expected to receive $200,000 that will by repaid through the TIF district if the expansion is approved by the Redevelopment Commission, which has already approved preliminary steps in the proposal.

The City Council also gave its support for the proposal last month, passing a resolution authorizing a $200,000 bond for the 10X project. The company is expected to invest $4 million in building an operations center at 1162 Manchester Ave., in what used to be the old Spiece Warehouse. The $200,000 loan, as it has been described by supporters of the project, was offered to 10X as an incentive for the company to choose Wabash for its operations center.

Work is already underway to transform the warehouse into an operations center after company representatives broke ground in July.

The Cinergy MetroNet TIF district was originally used to finance a fiber-optic cable network in Wabash, North Manchester and LaFontaine. Redevelopment Commission Attorney Doug Lehman described the TIF district as a spider district, meaning that the district may be expanded “wherever the cable exists.” It has been expanded in the past to fund other projects in Wabash and North Manchester, and is one of three TIF districts within city limits.

Lehman described the City’s TIF district projects as “sound,” noting that bonds have been or are being paid “ahead of schedule.”