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home : most recent : region 5 September 26, 2017

8/22/2017 9:36:00 PM
Washington opens way for $17 million Eagle Railcar development

Mike Grant, Washington Times Herald Staff Writer

The old rail yard on Washington's west side is expected to become a lot busier soon. The Washington Redevelopment Commission has agreed to take part in a tax credit sale that will allow Eagle Railcar to carry out a $17 million development in the city.

Under the agreement, the RDC and the Daviess County Economic Development Corp. will form a limited liability company or LLC that will act as the public agency for the sale of $5.8 million in federal tax credits and $2.4 million in state tax credits. That money, along with another $9 million in private investment will then be used by Marc Wolraven of Texas to clean up and develop the property that will operate as Eagle Railcar.

"The thing about this is the RDC is operating as a pass-through for the money," said attorney Frank Hoffman with Ice Miller of Indianapolis which is representing the city. "There will be no financial liability." 

By making the agreement, the city opens the way for a $17 million development on the old railcar property that includes an environmental cleanup plus at least 100 new jobs in the community that will pay between $14 and $22 per hour.

"I am really comfortable with this," said Washington Mayor Joe Wellman. "It is going to mean a sizable investment in our community, a clean up of a problem property and a lot of new jobs. It is going to put new life in that area."

"When we say the site is cleaned up, that does not mean completely clean," said Hoffman. "That means it is cleaned up to IDEM standards for this use. Rail is going to be a good business for a long time. This is one of the few places like this in the Midwest. It has a lot of appeal."

The agreement involving the RDC still needs city council approval. That is expected to be presented to the council next month. In addition, the city council is going to be considering a tax abatement request from the company.

"This one is going to be different," said Wellman. "They are seeking a 100 percent abatement for the property and equipment for 10 years. We will have to put that in front of the council and see how they react. Normally, we give a graduated abatement on property over 10 years and a graduated one over five years on equipment. Of course we don't normally get projects involving this large of an investment and involving 100 jobs."

Related Stories:
• Washington City Council hears from Eagle Railcar, approves abatement request

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