MasterBrand to Expand Ferdinand Location; New Radio Station for Town in Works

A major area business is looking to expand its Ferdinand location.

Last night, the Ferdinand Town Council heard from attorney Bill Shaneyfelt concerning a request for a tax abatement by MasterBrand Cabinets. The company is looking to expand its current Ferdinand production facility. The proposed abatement would cover 1.1 million dollars in new manufacturing equipment for MasterBrand Cabinets and the company says it is looking to add 135 new jobs by June 1st.

Ferdinand town council president Ken Sicard says the company’s investment is a big deal to the community:

A special meeting between members of the town council and representatives of MasterBrand is set to be held during the final week of January into February 1st, though no official date was set at last night’s meeting.

On a related note, Sicard stated at last night’s meeting that the council is concerned about the potential elimination of the business personal property tax on the state level. Sicard says the town would take a big financial hit if the tax were to be eliminated:

In other business last night, Sicard announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded the town a 3 thousand dollar grant for a new AM radio station in town. Now this station would be comprised of 3 transmitters (located at various points around town) and an engineering station. The radio station would be utilized to announce delays or cancellations in town services like trash pickup in the event of bad weather or extreme cold like what hit our listening area last week.

Sicard says the station will serve as an added convenience:

In final notes, the council voted to re-elect Sicard as council president and Ron Weyer as vice president for 2014. The council also decided to relinquish a 15 thousand dollar grant awarded to the town by the Dubois County Community Foundation for the ongoing amphitheater project. Sicard says the money is being relinquished since the amphitheater project is currently on hold. He says the town can re-apply for that grant money down the road when the town is ready to move forward with that project.

Now last night’s meeting marked the first meeting for new town manager Chris James. James, who was formally hired as town manager at last month’s meeting, started his job a week ago Monday.