Last night, the Jasper City Council gave its approval for a tax abatement for Jasper Chair.

The nine-year abatement will go towards the construction of a new building for Jasper Chair, which would add up to 30 thousand square feet of building space and would add three jobs to the facility.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says sustaining the traditional businesses is also a big part of what economic development is all about. He says he is grateful for the council’s action in granting the abatement:

The new abatement will be applied towards over $1.2 million in combined real and assessed property values for the company. As mentioned earlier, the expansion would create three jobs. Two of those would be manufacturing positions with a wage between $13 and $15 per hour. The other new job would be a management position with a pay range of $16 to $18 per hour.The new building for Jasper Chair is set to be completed in 2014 according to Jasper Chair president Jeff Barth.

Jasper Chair becomes the latest in a number of companies to take advantage of the city’s tax abatement program since it was established nearly two years ago. Others include Kimball International, Stens Corporation and Meyer Distributing.

Also at last night’s meeting, the council was given an update from I-67 Development Corporation chairman Hank Menke about the progress of the highway over the past year. Seitz says building this new corridor is critical to connect Dubois County to Interstate 69:

The council allotted $25,000 of its EDIT budget for the project in its 2013 budget.

The council also accepted an amended CF-1 form from Braun Properties pending the review and approval of the city clerk-treasurer’s office. The form was tabled at last month’s meeting due to questions about wages and employment. Company officials told the council that hiring was overstated and wages were heavily understated on the initial form. Officials also told the council that the figures on the form were year-to-date and thus did not take the entire year into account.

Finally last night, Seitz gave an update on the Downtown Riverfront Masterplan. Seitz told the council that Louisville-based CityVisions and Boston-based Gamble and Associates, the consultants for the project, were in town recently to meet with Seitz as well as councilman Tom Schmidt. Seitz added that a second public session on the plan could be held next month should the consultants have plans ready. If not, Seitz says that session could be moved to mid-late August due to events such as Strassenfest and back to school.