County Council votes unanimously in favor of tax abatement for Ultium LLC

NOW: County Council votes unanimously in favor of tax abatement for Ultium LLC

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—St. Joseph County remains in the running for a new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant, Ultium, LLC. Monday, the County Council voted yes on a tax abatement for the project, if New Carlisle is in fact chosen as the plant’s location.

The council’s decision was unanimous, with all nine members voting in support of a tax abatement for Ultium, LLC, if it’s built in New Carlisle’s IEC, or Indiana Enterprise Center.

In Monday’s committee meeting, Ultium officials expressed the good environmental work the development would do for the community, including aquifer protection and pulling energy from the solar farm, also underway in the IEC.

Some environmentalists disagree, and have expressed those concerns with ABC57, including those associated with redeveloping the farmland in the IEC.

If built, though, it would be just one of four General Motors electric vehicle battery plants in the United States, cutting down on various supply chain issues through domestic manufacturing.

“Projects like this fulfill the wishes of every elected official and advocacy group. It’s a win-win,” said Shelley Klug, a certified economic developer and manager of economic and business development for American Electric Power. “You’re collecting taxes from a corporation, you’re achieving a critical step toward clean energy and reduced fuel emissions, you’re supporting more jobs in America, and improved infrastructure, good jobs for voters, and another huge step in releasing the ties that bind us to foreign countries.”

St. Joseph County Council member, Richard Pfeil, said he is most excited about the 1,000 or more long-term jobs this project could bring.

He said it would be huge for New Carlisle, despite the current, national worker shortage.

“If you take a look at the long-term history of things, you’ll find that places that have employment grow, and places that don’t have employment get smaller,” Pfeil said. “Therefore, yes, we have an immediate problem with finding people. But, if our program is to go sideways, in time, other people will over our future.”

The council vote is the first of several steps. A resolution must also be confirmed by the county commission and the redevelopment commission.

If Ultium does choose the IEC in New Carlisle for its plant, construction could start by the end of 2022 or early 2023. It is set to be completed in 2025.

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