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August 1, 2013

Logansport, LMU file against county

Remonstrance on the books over county's TIF district expansion

The city of Logansport and Logansport Municipal Utilities have remonstrated against Cass County’s plans to expand its Tax Increment Financing district, contending the county’s motives are not to benefit the proposed area and that the initiative will negatively impact the city and LMU.

The county’s current TIF district consists of about 1,100 acres off of Ind. 25 southwest of Logansport and includes businesses like ADM Grain, The Andersons Clymers ethanol plant and Essroc.

Cass County commissioners passed on first reading an ordinance that would allow the county’s TIF district to expand by about 7,300 acres in its tax allocation area and about 12,500 acres in its economic development area. The unincorporated community of Clymers would be included in the district’s tax allocation area.

In an interview, Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin declined to comment on specifics, but said the city has economic development interests on land within the county’s proposed TIF district expansion.

“I think everybody expects the Clymers area to be a legitimate point of development,” Franklin said. “The city certainly has interest in developing that area as well.”

In a remonstrance filed against the county’s plans, attorneys Brian Bosma, representing LMU, and Randy Head, representing Logansport, say county officials are trying to prevent “Logansport from being able to benefit from land included in the proposed expansion area.”

Page 2 of the document quotes Cass County Commissioner Jim Sailors from a July 2 Cass County Plan Commission meeting saying it would be difficult for the city to acquire land in the proposed expansion area after bonds are enforced there.

“It’s not as easy for the city to even acquire or do anything with it as long as there is a bond enforced, so that’s what this is really about,” Sailors is quoted as saying. “I mean, if we didn’t do that ... the city has said that, if they get the utilities out there, they’re just going to take it over. Well they won’t be able to then ...”

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