The Burns Harbor
Town Council committed to granting ArcelorMittal three tax abatements on an
upcoming $163 million upgrades project.
The approval was
given at the Council’s April 10 meeting, contingent upon Town Attorney Clay
Patton reviewing the paperwork.
At the Council’s
March meeting, representatives of ArcelorMittal told the Council that the
Burns Harbor plant stands to get approximately $163 million in upgrades
between now and 2023.
$44 million will be
for non-discretionary projects to update aging equipment, including two new
charge cranes in the steel shop, a new coke discharge machine, and a new BOF
vessel. $119 million will be for incremental updates to already
well-performing assets, including increased coil capacity at the hot mill,
new coil binders, upgraded coil storage, and the installation of an in-line
temper mill, among others.
Corporate said the
upgrades will help the plant stay competitive in a changing market and meet
the Company’s U.S. strategic plan goal to produce more hot roll direct
Nick Loving expressed his support for granting the abatements, noting that
ArcelorMittal has live projects in Mexico, East Chicago, and Cleveland,
“They have a pile
of money. That’s all companies really are. If ArcelorMittal does not invest
in Burns Harbor, the capital can and will be allocated and used in other
facilities, states, or countries,” Loving said. “They can put their money
here with us, or they can put it anywhere else that they want.”
73 percent of the property taxes in Town, which is one of the reasons Burns
Harbor maintains the lowest municipal property tax rate for homeowners in
Porter County, Loving said.
Loving said the
abatements are investments in Burns Harbor’s future. “Think about what Burns
Harbor is going to look like in 50 years. By approving the abatement, we can
ensure the long-term viability of the mill, and in doing that, we can ensure
the long-term viability of the Town.”
“It makes huge
sense for us as a town, and it has huge benefits for us as a town,” Council
Vice-president Eric Hull said.
The work will be
done in three phases, which are scheduled for completion at the end of 2021,
2022, and 2023, respectively. Susan Zlajic, ArcelorMittal director of state
tax & government relations, said Corporate green-lighted breaking the work
down into three abatements--one for each phase.
abatement will be in place starting the year after each phase completes at a
rate of 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent for years five and
six, and 50 percent in years six through 10.
Not only does
granting tax abatements keep ArcelorMittal in Duneland and employing local
people, as Loving said, it brings income. Per Indiana Code, the Town is
allowed to impose a fee of no more than 15 percent of the amount of taxes
abated or $100,000 for each year, whichever is less, for the duration of a
tax abatement it grants.
The Council granted
ArcelorMittal a tax abatement on its $134 million Walking Beam Furnace
Project in 2017. That abatement goes into effect in 2022. So, come 2024, the
Town will be collecting annual fees on four abatements.
The bids are in for
the Town’s 2019 Community Crossings grant projects. The Council approved
going with Walsh & Kelley, which came back with the low bid of $1,030,503.70
for reconstruction and mill and fill on the Town’s priority roads based on
condition. For a Town the size of Burns Harbor, Community Crossings grants
are a 75/25 match.
The roads given
priority for 2019 are as follows: Babcock from Haglund to Rainbow, Rainbow
Drive from Babcock to West Dead End, Castle Street from Haglund to North
Dead End, Coan Street from Haglund to North Dead End, Stanley Street from
Haglund to North Dead End, Westport Road from Haglund to Navajo Trail,
Riverside from Westport to East Dead End, Shadyside Road from Hickory to
McCool Road, and McCool Road from U.S. Hwy 12 to Shadyside.
Superintendent Pat Melton reported spring clean-up week starts April 22, but
the Street Department has already picked up a lot of roadside trash. “78
bags of trash. It’s just unbelievable,” Melton said.
approval to use up to $10,000 from his budget to repair rusted hydraulic
valves and obsolete controls on a plow truck that is a key part of his
recognized two staff anniversaries in the month of April. Pat Melton has 13
years, and Corinne Peffers has three years.
The Town Rummage
Sale will be Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 This year.
Large item trash
pick-up will be Thursday, May 16.
Scholarship applications are due May 31.