Plans for new jobs at two companies move forward

Two separate companies made significant strides this week in their respective plans to bring new jobs to German Township.

On Tuesday evening, the Bartholomew County Council voted 6-1 to approve tax abatements for R&L Carriers of Wilmington, Ohio.

A total of 79 full time jobs will be created when R&L, a prominent national freight shipping company, invests nearly $35 million in a new logistics operation, Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. President Jason Hester said.

Plans are for R&L to construct a large cross dock facility, where products from a supplier or manufacturing plant are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with marginal to no handling or storage time, Hester said.

The facility will be located in the Meadow Lawn Industrial Park, located north of County Road 800N between Executive Drive and County Road 250W. Plans are to build the facility north of where Old Dominion Freight Lines constructed a similar facility last year.

On Wednesday morning, the Edinburgh/Bartholomew/Columbus Joint District Plan Commission voted unanimously to allow an existing company in the same general area to nearly double it’s current size.

Georg Utz Inc., 14000 N. Country Road 250W, received conditional approval for their site development plan that calls for an almost 135,000 square foot expansion. Hester says the growth from the $19.3 million investment will add 46 new jobs, as well as retain 108 current employees.

The new jobs at Georg Utz Inc., which produces custom and standard plastic containers, will pay an average of $25.13 an hour, while current positions have an average salary of $24.44 an hour, Hester said.

Meanwhile, R&L Carriers announced last summer they expect to pay an average full-time annual salary of at least $53,000 to their new employees.

With plans that include six new loading docks, new access drives, additional parking and new landscaping, the Georg Utz project will cost an estimated $19.3 million, Hester said.

This was the eighth expansion or major investment announced locally by Georg Utz since the Switzerland-based corporation first came to Bartholomew County in 2003. Their first location consisted of a five-person sales office and an 8,000 square foot leased warehouse in the airport area.

After being approved last July by both the county commissioners and the county council, it appears the R&L project has met all conditions to receive a phase-in of real property taxes over the next 10-years, as well as a five-year abatement for new equipment.

But there’s still one more potential hurdle for Georg Utz to cross before they can move ahead.

Local planners expressed concern the expansion may not be adequately flood-proofed, so the company will either have to comply with floodplain regulations or receive a variance. Wednesday’s approval is subject to the company receiving such a variance when they go before the Joint District Board of Zoning Appeals on Oct. 25, Hester said.

While planners also had concerns regarding loading docks facing a public street and consistent landscaping, the potential flooding was the most significant concern expressed during Wednesday’s meeting.