Coachmen Industries Inc. officials appeared on Monday before the Middlebury (Ind.) Town Council to request an expanded tax abatement for construction of a new production facility at the company’s expansive RV manufacturing complex on the north side of town, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Coachmen executive Thomas Martini, vice president and treasurer of the RV and modular structure manufacturer, indicated that construction of the new plant would result in the addition of about 150 new employees after 200 existing workers are moved into it.
Martini did not state specifically what products were to be assembled in the new plant.
Coachmen, Middlebury’s largest employer, earlier in December had requested a $1.6 million tax abatement to purchase and upgrade an existing plant in the northern Indiana community, and had already received preliminary approval to do so. Martini told the council this week, however, the company had decided instead to build a new facility for an unstated RV-manufacturing purpose at the current Coachmen complex for which it was requesting an additional abatement of about $3.3 million. Paperwork for the new plant, he told them, had already been submitted to the Indiana Department of Commerce.
Coachmen would receive about $435,000 in state grants for worker training.
The town council did not act on the proposal because of some concerns of council members regarding the advisability of allowing inducements for a new plant versus rehabilitation of an older facility that has been sitting idle.
“You’re not revitalizing anything; you’re improving (Coachmen’s facilities),” Council President Gary O’Dell told Martini. “We were under the impression (that) you were revitalizing (an older structure).”
In a Thursday press release, meanwhile, Coachmen announced a 6-cents-a-share regular quarterly dividend – the company’s 82nd consecutive quarterly dividend – plus the appointment of Rex Martin, chairman, president and CEO of NIBCO Inc., to the company’s board of directors.