PRINCETON — A $17 million expansion project that will create 53 new jobs is on the boards for Diversity Vuteq LLC, a manufacturer of plastic interior parts for Toyota and other companies.
Gibson County Economic Development Corp. CEO Paul Waters told Gibson County Commissioners Tuesday morning that the company will ask the Gibson County Council for property tax phase-in incentives to help accomplish the expansion.
Waters reported the development to commissioners as a courtesy, since the county's fiscal body makes the decisions on tax incentives. Waters noted that when the company established in Gibson County in 2009, it projected employment of 52 to 53 people. Today employment is at 252.
Commissioners also learned of the Nov. 10 resignation of Gibson County Cooperative Extension Service ag/natural resources educator and CES office manager Hans Schmitz, who is transferring to Posey County Nov. 13. Schmitz said his ag/natural resources position will be posted and Lisa Wilson will assume the office manager duties.
"We are going to miss Hans desperately," Gibson County Parks Board member Gwen Hopkins told commissioners. Schmitz helped establish and work with the development of Hopkins Family Park, the first county-owned park property. Hopkins reported on work to obtain a $200,000 matching grant for further development of the park created with land her family donated to the county.
In reports to commissioners:
• Gibson County Animal Services director Brenda Foley reported 18 dogs and 38 cats at the facility. She said the agency made 89 runs, took 419 calls and had 182 visitors lat month. A 19-year-old water heater was replaced in October at the shelter.
• Veterans Service Officer George Pickersgill said a special ceremony honoring the memory of a World War I veteran is planned at 9 a.m. Saturday at Hight Chapel Cemetery. He also reported a Nov. 16 book signing is planned at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church for a book written by Randy Mills and the late Ralph "Butch" Davis about Vietnam veteran DIck Wolfe.
• Gibson County Health Department reported 165 immunizations, 8 pregnancy tests/prenatal treatments, 17 tuberculosis skin tests, four new septic permits, 35 septic complaint inspections, 33 food inspections, eight dog bite complaints, 42 birth certificates and 169 death certificates issued in October.
Public Health Nurse Diane Hornby reported the county food inspector has resigned and the position will be filled.
• Ambulance service director Jim Allen reported the department is on target to make 4,400 runs this year. To-date, the agency has billed more than $2.4 million and collected nearly $1.5 million for services.
• Gibson County Jail's Oct. 27 census was 127 inmates at the jail rated for 120-bed capacity, reported Deputy Deborah Borchelt.
• County Engineer Matt Holden reported work is in progress for the next Community Crossings grant round, and work is scheduled to begin on a bridge replacement project in December.
• Gibson County Soil and Water Conservation District spokesman Ken Page reported the annual meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the 4-H Center at the Gibson County Fairgrounds.
• Gibson County's new aerial photography is available for GIS mapping viewing, reported county GIS director John Howe. The new photography done this year replaces 2013 aerial photography.
• Highway Superintendent Chuck Lewis reported Brian Tolbert was hired at the highway department to fill one of the vacancies created with three retirements.
• Commissioners agreed to sign documents as applicants for a $120,000 state loan for flood control work on the Blair Drainage Ditch. A public hearing on the proposed loan and work is scheduled at the 8 a.m. Dec. 5 commissioners meeting.
• Gibson County resident Jim Tate, who has monitored chronic problems with a blocked railroad crossing, reported the situation is improving. He said he's still concerned that Norfolk Southern trains pull up close enough to activate the crossing arm. "With the arms down and the road open, eventually someone will go across and get clobbered," he said.