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Bus manufacturer seeks to expand in Elkhart

Ameritrans Bus Inc., plans to expand in Elkhart and add 20 new jobs by the end of 2016.

Posted on Jan. 13, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — A manufacturer of small and medium size buses and specialty vehicles is looking to expand its presence in Elkhart with a facility on C.R. 6 in Elkhart.

Ameritrans Bus Inc., is currently located at 2503 Ada Drive, but wants to expand to a facility at 3601 C.R. 6 East, said Barry Hines, general manager of Ameritrans.

The proposed expansion will result in 20 new jobs paying an average of $19.05 per hour, not including benefits, by December of 2016.

The company has been in Elkhart for about 15 years, but was purchased in July of 2012 by ABC Companies, of Faribault, Minn., and has seen production triple, Hines said.

The facility on C.R. 6 is essentially a warehouse, which Hines said will be renovated.

The existing building will provide about 60,000 square feet, but more room for expansion exists on the same tract of land, Hines said.

Hines made a presentation to the Elkhart City Council Monday, Jan. 13, as part of a tax abatement request.

The company, which currently employs about 80 people, is seeking a three-year tax abatement for real property totaling about $351,000.

If approved for the tax abatement, the company could potentially save $20,900.

On Monday, the council approved the preliminary step of declaring the property an economic revitalization area. Within a few weeks, the council will likely vote on approving a continuing resolution on the request and memorandum of understanding before the tax agreement is finalized.

Hines said the company will continue to occupy the property on Ada Drive.

ABC Companies has a large Greyhound refurbishment facility in Nappanee, Hines said.


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