By DENISE GRANT

By DENISE GRANT

Staff Writer

Infrastructure at Findlay's new Ohio Logistics Business Park will cost less than expected, so a financing plan for the project won't have to be approved by the Van Buren school board.

Contracts for both water and sewer lines were awarded Tuesday by the Hancock County commissioners.

Helms & Sons Excavating, Findlay, was awarded a $483,999 contract for construction of a sewer line along Distribution Drive. B. Hill'z Excavating, Wayne, was awarded a $115,015 contract to install the waterline.

Tony Iriti, economic development director for the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance, said the contracts are about 34 percent less than expected. That's enough to cut a tax increment financing plan proposed by the Alliance from 15 to 10 years.

That also eliminates the need for Van Buren school board approval of the project, Iriti said. Ohio law requires approval by affected school districts when financing stretches beyond 10 years.

A tax increment financing plan allows additional real estate tax revenue, created by new development in a specific area, to be diverted from public entities like schools and townships, and used to finance infrastructure improvements.

Allen Township will also be affected by the tax diversion.

The commissioners will vote Dec. 19 to enact the financing plan.

The proposed development work is being spurred by Ohio Logistics, 12560 Distribution Drive, which is planning a 125,000-square-foot addition on the north side of its warehouse. It will also build a 130,000-square-foot warehouse to the east of its building.

Ohio Logistics expects to create 35 to 45 jobs with its expansion.

Initial estimates put the cost of the infrastructure improvements at about $2 million, including curbs and gutters, drainage work and asphalt overlay along Distribution Drive. Contracts for the road work have not been awarded.

The 47-acre industrial park is north of Hancock County 99 and east of Ball Metal and the CSX railroad tracks.

The park will include an existing 21-acre Ohio Logistics warehouse tract. Five lots on the east side of Distribution Drive will be for use by other businesses to be recruited.

Ohio Logistics employs about 370 at warehouses across the country. It is headquartered in Findlay and is one of the largest privately-held logistics companies in the Midwest. It provides warehousing, distribution and transportation.

Grant: 419-427-8412

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