September 25, 2003


Council to offer tax abatement to Antioch Company

Village Council indicated last week that it would offer The Antioch Company a tax abatement on a new press the business plans to purchase for its local facility.

During a brief discussion at its meeting Sept. 15, Council said that it supported writing a letter to Greene County saying that the Village favored giving The Antioch Company the abatement. Council did not vote on the action.

Council president Tony Arnett proposed that Council offer the company a 10-year, 75-percent abatement on the press. He called the possible abatement an “opportunity to support The Antioch Company.”

Carol Gasho, the operations manager of the local facility, estimated that the new press would cost between $3 million and $3.5 million. The press would replace an existing press that is 20 years old, and would be more efficient, quicker and provide greater flexibility than the current one, she said. Gasho said that purchasing a new unit would allow The Antioch Company to retain the 10 employees who currently run the business’ presses, which produce album-making accessories, an original line of bookmarks and products for Our Own Image, the company’s new business unit.

After the meeting, Gasho said that the company would make a recommendation on a new press to its board by the end of the year. The new press could be operating by the end of next July, she said.

Last week’s Council decision follows its recent discussions about ways to offer financial incentives to businesses that may locate in the commerce park that Council is helping to get built in Yellow Springs. Among the possible incentives Council has identified are abatements on personal property and real estate taxes.

In an interview last Friday, Gasho said that the abatement the company is likely to receive from the Village is a “good deal for the community and the company.”

“It’s important that we feel Yellow Springs wants us to stay here in general,” she said of the offer.

“Getting the press in here speaks well for the long-term viability for the Yellow Springs operation,” Gasho said.

In other Council business:

• Council passed by 4–0 votes two measures related to the solid waste fund. The first officially increased garbage rates by 2 percent across the board. The ordinance increases rates for 30 gallons of garbage to $8.72 a month from $8.55; for 30 to 60 gallons, to $12.65 from $12.40; and for 90 gallons, to $15.20 from $14.90.

The second measure extended the Village’s contract with Rumpke, the Village’s garbage hauler, another six months.

Council has said that both decisions will give the Village time to study the solid waste fund and solicit bids for a new garbage contract.

• Hillard reported that Jonathan Brown, who owns the Union School House with his wife, Anna Arbor, is working with the Village on a compromise for his proposal to move the building’s parking lot to Dayton Street. Brown also wants to build three houses on the Union Street side of the building, where its parking is currently located.

To give the parties time to negotiate, the Village granted Brown an extension on his appeal of Planning Commission’s decision to reject his proposal, Hillard said. Council had planned to consider Brown’s appeal at its next meeting, Oct. 6, but the appeal has been postponed, Hillard said.

“We are working with the owner to try to come up with a plan that meets his objectives more clearly and satisfies the Village,” Hillard said.

• Following a recommendation from Village staff, Council agreed 4–0 not to object to a request from Peach’s Grill to extend its liquor license to 2:30 a.m. from 1 a.m.

• Local resident Julia Reichert urged Council to accept a payment offer from the Gypsy Café for its business loan with the village. The Village has declared the restaurant in default of its loan and has asked its owners, Locksley and Guy Orr, to bring the loan up to date and make regular payments in the future. The Orrs said that they could make their payments from Guy Orr’s wages, which he earns at his other job.

“A lot of people feel it will be a shame if the business does not get support and the business would have to go out of business,” Reichert said.

—Robert Mihalek