The Middlebury, Ind., Town Council certified on Monday, Oct. 18, that Coachmen Industries Inc. had kept a promise that it made to the town a year and a half ago to hire an additional 150 employees after expanding its Middlebury operations on County Road 37, the Goshen News reports.
Council members approved a Coachmen statement of compliance with benefits, a requirement for the firm to receive 10-year phased-in tax abatement that it requested from the council to expand its facilities in the Northern Indiana community, which is located just south of the Michigan state line, according to town attorney Craig Buche.
Buche said the amount of tax relief had not yet been determined.
By approving the statement, the council agreed that Coachmen “appears to be in compliance with promises that they made,” said Buche. He noted that the tax relief initially was approved in March 2003, about the time that the full-line RV manufacturer’s Coachmen Recreational Vehicle Co. LLC subsidiary broke ground on its 127,000-square-foot Class C motorhome plant at its Middlebury complex. The complex included 20 buildings on 135 acres and was to eventually emply 1,600 people.
At last count, Coachmen spokesmen indicate, there were about 280 people employed at the plant, where Coachmen, Shasta. Concord, Freedom, Freelander, Leprechaun, Santara and Cheyenne-brand C-bodies are built.
The plant, a grand opening for which was held in November, is set up to utilize two assembly lines designed to increase production efficiencies by segregating higher production-hour models from lower man-hour models. It features more than 24,000 square feet of mezzanines for offline manufacturing processes and uses cranes to lower components into place for installation.
The original estimated value of the Coachmen improvements totalled $3.3 million.