Chesterton Tribune



BH Town Council okays $134M tax abatement for ArcelorMittal

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ArcelorMittal has secured a $134-million tax abatement from the Town of Burns Harbor, in connection with its Walking Beam Furnace project.

At the Town Councilís meeting Wednesday night, members heard from Principal Engineer Kelly Dallas, who said that plans to modernize the plantís hot mill have been in the works for nearly 20 years but the project was delayed by the recession in 2008.

The plans call for a new furnace building and a charge building attached to the existing furnace building. Two emissions stacks would also be added.

Member Eric Hull asked Dallas how many jobs the company anticipates creating with this project. Dallas responded that the project will not create permanent jobs, but will retain them and keep the plant up-to-date and sustainable.

Dallas also said that the company is making use of 3D modeling technology in the planning process to ensure the safety and success of the build, and that ArcelorMittal plans to hire local contractors for concrete, piping, and electrical work. The $134 million project is expected to be completed by December 2021.

The council unanimously adopted a resolution to approve the tax abatement, which goes into effect after completion of the project in 2022. The abatementís schedule: 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent in years four and five, and 50 percent in years six through 10. Per Indiana code, the town is allowed to impose a fee of no more than 15 percent of the amount of the tax abatement for each year, or $100,000 dollars, whichever is less. The Town will collect this fee each year starting in 2022.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Bill Arney took a moment to thank the community for a great turnout at the spaghetti dinner Oct. 21. Arney said thatís heís glad to watch the dinner grow every year and become a gathering place for residents. The proceeds will go to the various charitable projects the Fire Department hosts, including Shop with a Firefighter.

Arney also said that Shop with a Firefighter--under which the FD delivers presents to the children of local families in need--will return this year with a new component. ďWe usually spend $200 or $300 per kid, then we take Santa on the fire truck to deliver them,Ē Arney said. This year, the FD is hosting a food drive to deliver a basket of food to each family in addition to gifts. Those interested can bring donations to the fire station between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Park Department

The Parks Department reported that the derelict shelters at Lakeland Park have been demolished and concrete foundations for the new shelters will be poured in spring 2018.

The annual Santa Dash will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Lakeland Park. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items and an unwrapped toy as an entry fee. Donations support the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry and the local Toys for Tots. Attendees can enjoy music and horse and carriage rides, with Santa arriving on a fire truck at 1 p.m. and the race beginning at 3 p.m.



Posted 11/9/2017





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