EPC set to add 21 jobs

    Officials from Elkhart Products Corporation (EPC) in Geneva have announced an expansion project that will create new jobs. The expansion will include the construction of a building addition as well as the installation of new machinery and equipment, fixtures and hardware.
    Geneva Town Council in its meeting Thursday evening heard from Adams County Economic Development Director Larry Macklin, who said, "With this new investment, there is not only job retention, but also additional new employment of 21 new jobs over the next few months."
    EPC Plant Manager Don Thompson termed the project "the second prong of a three-prong expansion." He said the first phase was in 2008, when the company expanded its aluminum piston manufacturing capacity from 6 million to 8 million. The second prong will take that capacity to 12 million. The third phase, he said, is expected to take place in about 2 years at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.
    Thompson said that the current expansion project came about as the result of securing a $120 million contract in December of 2010.
    Geneva Town Council members approved a 10-year tax abatement on the estimated $3 million expansion project and also designating the EPC property as an economic revitalization area. A public hearing on the resolution is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 5.

    In other business, Rose Bryan, manager of the Geneva branch of the Adams Public Library System, asked for the council's support in seeking a $22,000 grant for the digitization of records located within the library. Bryan noted that, after they are digitized, the records will remain public and will likely be available on the Internet, chronicled by name, event, government ordinance and more.
    Additionally, she said that old books may be destroyed during the process, because many of the books have brittle pages and faint ink that may not withstand the process.
    "We support the project enthusiastically," said council member Doug Milligan.
    The council also approved a request by Bryan to block three parking spaces in front of the library on March 23 for a sidewalk chalk art show.
    The art show will be created with homemade sidewalk chalk and is open to children and adults.
    Meanwhile, Geneva Marshall Rob Johnson, council members and Attorney David Baumgartner agreed to give an unnamed Geneva resident who has been found to be in violation of the animal ordinance one last warning before turning the matter over to the courts.    
    The resident has been sent three citations via certified mail since October of 2010 for allowing his dog to run at large. He has not paid the fines, city officials said.
    Also, Fire Chief John Patch reported that there is a leak in the roof of the Hanni building.
    Geneva Clerk-Treasurer Bill Warren said that the roof is 14 years old and that it can begin to crack at that age. Warren added that a roofing company official said that they will be able to repair the roof to last several more years.
    Warren also said the council has signed a contract to have the water tower cleaned for a total cost of $2,200, and that there will be a public hearing for a wastewater infrastructure improvement grant on March 8. He noted that there has been no news yet on whether the town has received the water system study grant.
    Council members also signed a resolution to transfer $1,237 in levy funds to the general fund.