Created on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
A tax abatement package for a $12 million expansion at AcuSport Corp., 1 Hunter Place, was passed on a first and final reading during Tuesday’s Bellefontaine City Council meeting.
ENTERPRISE ZONE BENEFITS
■ $53,000 increase in annual income tax to Bellefontaine once AcuSport fills all 80 positions.
The enterprise zone agreement is essentially the same just four times larger than a deal passed in December.
Once done, the shooting sports wholesaler will add 80 jobs and $4 million in payroll to its existing 214 employees and $10 million payroll.
Bellefontaine City Schools and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center also will benefit now and in 10 years when the tax abatement expires.
Details on the schools’ portions are not yet final.
However, according to the application, AcuSport’s addition would generate $93,000 in property tax revenue for the city schools and $12,000 for Hi-Point without the 75 percent abatement. Under the abatement, the expansion will generate $23,300 for the city schools and $4,900 for Hi-Point.
Currently, AcuSport pays more than $44,000 in city school taxes and $2,300 to the career center.
For the city, the expansion will generate about $53,000 in new income tax revenues and $1,800 a year in property tax.
AcuSport will realize a $950,000 savings in property taxes over the 10-year life of the agreement.
The company plans to start construction in April and finish by July 2014.
Plans call for a 96,000-square-foot warehouse addition, a 35,000-square-foot office expansion and remodeling the existing 21,000 square feet of office space.
The new buildings and remodeling will cost around $7 million, while the installation of a material handling system will run $5 million.
AcuSport also plans to spend $1 million on furniture and fixtures and add $20 million in inventory.
In other action, the council passed readings of ordinances that will increase wages by 2 percent for all city employees including the police and fire departments.
The impact on the general fund will be just $85,000.
Council members also passed a first reading of the permanent budget for this year. General fund spending is set at slightly more than $7.6 million while the total budget, including special revenue and enterprise funds, exceeds $24 million.
City Auditor Jack Reser said he estimates the city’s general revenues will be just under $7.5 million. Still he does not believe the city will have to tap into its reserves.
“Recent history shows we spend about 97 percent of the money budgeted,” he told the Finance Committee. “If that continues, we will have a neutral year in the general fund.”
A measure authorizing the city to administer a $500,000 Ohio Department of Transportation grant for a bicycle trail received a second reading.
Bellefontaine received a letter from Peoples Savings Bank of Urbana stating, if needed, it would loan up to $300,000 to the Simon Kenton Pathfinders to cover the local share.
“The letters are very promising,” City Law Director Howard Traul II said. “But I think we need something more.
“I will follow up with the bank by the next meeting to make sure the city is held harmless.”
“By held harmless,” asked Councilman Peter DeSomma, “do you mean it’s not going to cost the city anything?”
“That is correct,” Mr. Traul responded.
The bike trail will connect Bellefontaine and Urbana as part of the trail system that extends south to Cincinnati.
The council’s next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. March 12.