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Corrugated packaging company eyes Bristol for new plant

A rezoning request for a 20-acre property is heading to the Bristol Town Council with a favorable recommendation.

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 8:51 a.m.

GOSHEN — A company that produces corrugated packaging material may set up shop in Bristol.

The Elkhart County Plan Commission recommended approval of a rezoning Thursday, March 13, for a 20-acre property east of the town that would allow the company to build a new 169,000-square-foot plant with parking in Washington Township. The land is on the west side of C.R. 29 and north of S.R. 120.

Surveyor Chris Marbach, a consultant with Marbach, Brady and Weaver Inc., said the name of the company has not been released to the public. The owners of the land are Michael and Alice Blakesley, and the developer is J.A. Wagner Construction Inc.

The property is expected to be annexed into town limits Thursday, March 20. The town plans to extend Commerce Drive east to C.R. 29 in conjunction with the annexation.

Marbach said the new facility would receive rolls of paper by truck and rail that would be converted into corrugated sheets used to make packaging. Stacks of sheets would then be protected and banded for shipment by truck. Waste paper would be baled and shipped back to a paper mill for recycling. An outdoor silo is proposed for the property standing 36 to 40 feet tall to store dry cornstarch used in the corrugation process.

“I think it’s a great area for this,” town manager Bill Wuthrich told the plan commission. “I think it’s good diversification for our area. We have so much in our area that belongs to the mobile home and RV industry, and we need some diversification.”

Marbach said the company plans to have two shifts, each with 18 employees plus management and staff. The company may had a third shift down the line, he said.

The company expects to have 50 outbound trucks and a dozen inbound trucks visiting the property per day.

“It sounds like there’s going to be a lot of trucks,” said Jeff Fisher, a homeowner to the south of the property. “I was wondering if we could make it a little more firm that the property owner would be able to use curbing, signs or some other means to be a little more forceful on the trucks to go west on Commerce Drive rather than asking them, just being a little more formal on that they would make it so you can’t make a right turn out of their driveway or put up signs.”

Plan commission members said there are no truck restrictions on C.R. 29, but the company will be asked to direct truck traffic toward Commerce Drive.

If the zoning change is approved by the town council, the company plans to start construction this year, according to its rezoning application.

WAKARUSA ADDING NEW TIF DISTRICT

The town of Wakarusa plans to add a new tax increment finance, or TIF, district.

The county’s plan commission approved a resolution Thursday to create the S.R. 19 Corridor Economic Development Area TIF District.

“If you picture the town of Wakarusa, it starts at the northeast corner where Forest River is, follows S.R. 19 south to the town boundary and west to where Thor is located,” said Bodie Stegelmann, counsel for the town’s redevelopment commission.

The area includes manufacturing, commercial and some agricultural land. There are no residential properties within the district.

“The redevelopment commission weeks approval of the TIF area to facilitate and assist in financing utility improvements, specifically water supply, wastewater treatment, there’s need for certain pump stations for the water treatment plant and possible relocation of the town’s wellfield,” Stegelmann said.

Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.


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