City rezones land to attract med device business



About 33 acres of land in northwest Columbia City is now zoned light industrial.

The move by the city council Tuesday comes as the city tries to show a medical device manufacturer that this is the right place to locate a new operation.

The land, previously zoned general business and located south of U.S. 30 and east of Lincolnway, is among sites a company, whose name has not been released, is interested in for a new building which can be close to Warsaw.

The city’s plan commission recommended earlier this month to the city council to rezone the land.

The adjacent property owners expressed concern with current drainage in the area, but the plan commission said a committee will investigate drainage and try to find a solution if the business locates here.

At an earlier council meeting this month, Alan Tió, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, said the company is interested in Whitley County, but none of the existing industrial parks meet the company’s needs.

He said rezoning the land and making it a tax increment financing district, the city could be ahead of other sites the business is considering.

The city also plans to make the land an economic revitalization area so the business could be eligible for tax abatements.

Final public hearings before the approval of the TIF district and ERA will likely be in September.

At the earlier council meeting, Tió also said the company plans for a building with 80,000 square feet to house the new operation, where it may be located.