PRINCETON — Gibson County Council members unanimously approved a resolution authorizing up to $4.4 million in economic development revenue bonds to finance infrastructure and improvements for a new Vuteq training facility/manufacturing center.
The bonds will be paid over a 23-year amortization period with a portion of the taxes paid within a newly created Tax Increment Finance District on the 53-acre property on the west side of U.S. 41 at the County Road 550 interchange. H.J. Umbaugh and Associates consultant Matt Eckerle said the bonds will be issued in one or two series.
The Toyota supplier is investing $27 million in a facility that will serve as a free-standing new support center for the company’s seven U.S. plants, as well as additional warehousing and local manufacturing.
Vuteq USA Vice President of Onsite Sales Toshi Harada told the Gibson County Council Tuesday that the facility will be independent from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. Projected employment at the completion of the first phase of the project in 2020 is 200 people. By the end of the second phase in 2022, employment is projected to be at 400 employees. The two-phase project would start with a support center and some warehouse and manufacturing facility space to be done first. Harada said the support center will include staff that provides management training and core trainers to the company's sites across the U.S. Most of the employees will live in the area, he confirmed.
The infrastructure work includes sewer lines to the Town of Fort Branch's treatment plant, and extending water mains from the east side of U.S. 41 to the facility for service from Gibson Water Inc.
"It's encouraging that Vuteq picked Gibson County for its national training facility," said Gibson County Attorney Jim McDonald.
In other business Tuesday morning, council members approved a change to the 2018 salary ordinance allowing Gibson County Auditor Sherri Smith's office to hire an additional employee for training in anticipation of an expected retirement. They tabled a request to amend the salary ordinance for pay increases for Gibson Superior Court probation director and probation officer until they receive more information.
The council agreed to advertise an additional appropriation of $15,000 for the Gibson County Health Department to purchase vaccines for summer clinics. Public Health Nurse Administrator Diane Hornby said the department has $6,692 in that line item. Money is recouped through private payment for the vaccinations, she noted.