One Elkhart company fails to meet standards in abatement review

Vixen Composites did not meet benchmark for hiring additional workers.

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 10:17 p.m.

ELKHART — The city council recently finished an annual review of companies that receive tax abatement agreements.

All but one of the 21 companies reviewed were determined to be in substantial compliance of the tax abatement agreements.

Vixen Composites LLC, a maker of laminated panel products for the recreational van industry, was found to not be in compliance.

The company was granted tax abatement from the city in 2010. The abatement is for five years, but paperwork provided by the city indicates the company failed to meet expected goals outlined in the agreement.

The council is required by law to conduct the annual review to ensure the companies are meeting expectations in the number of new jobs created, wages and investment.

Specifically, Vixen was expected to establish 34 new positions, but has only expanded by 10 positions, according to paperwork.

As part of the agreement, the company invested more than $6 million, but that represents about 80 percent of what was planned.

As a result, the council passed a resolution finding the company was not in substantial compliance and set a final hearing date on July 28 to provide a final opportunity for company officials to explain circumstances.

Company president Gregg Fore said Monday that the company had not been able to find sufficient markets to increase production the way it had expected. He also said the company had become more efficient in its operations.

A company representative did not attend either meeting the council had on the topic earlier this month. Fore said he missed the meeting because of illness.

The tax abatement agreement was made during the company’s initial start-up, which involved a total cost of about $10 million, Fore said.

The company is on Lavanture Place north of the municipal airport.


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