In another sign the economy is coming back, Cincinnati-based Universal Trailer Corp. is seeking use of Elkhart County’s bonding authority to build a plant near Bristol, Ind.

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, the cargo and utility trailer maker is asking the county’s Economic Development Commission to issue $10 million in industrial revenue bonds that its lender would buy and then lend to UTC for the project. The company would then repay the money to the lending institution, and must put up assets as collateral.

“Industrial development bonds utilize the county’s ability to issue bonds but they are not financial obligations of the county,” said Brian Hoffer, an attorney with Kindig & Sloat, the commission’s legal counsel. “The county is just a conduit.”

To meet growing demand for its products, UTC plans to build a plant at the southwest corner of C.R. 4 and C.R. 29 near Bristol.

The bond issue is the second piece of public help the company is seeking for the $21.4 million project. It also has asked the Bristol Town Council for a five-year property tax abatement.

UTC, whose brands include Haulmark and Wells Cargo, employs about 200 people in Elkhart County and estimates the new plant would entail adding at least 35 jobs at a rate of $18 per hour over the next few years.

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