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07.21.2015 - Enterprise Zone Approved for Berlin Gardens, LLC
MILLERSBURG -- Although approved for a partial tax abatement, expansion of a local business is expected to bring in additional jobs, wages and additional property taxes.

The Holmes County commissioners approved an enterprise zone agreement with Berlin Gardens and Yoder 5, 5019 Township Road 359, Berlin. A manufacturer of outdoor furniture and lawn structures, the business is owned by Sam Yoder.

Approval of the enterprise zone will help to facilitate expansion of the business through construction of a 55,000-square-foot new facility, which will be used for warehousing and manufacturing of outdoor accent pieces, including furniture cushions, according to Holmes County Economic Development Council Executive Director Mark Leininger.

As part of the agreement, the company will commit to creating six new full-time jobs over the next two years, according to Leininger, and the additional payroll represents nearly $210,000 annually. The company currently employs 95 full-time employees, 14 of whom will work out of the new facility, which includes room for future expansion.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 million in building, $100,000 in equipment and $125,000 in inventory, said Leininger, noting the 50 percent exemption of real property tax granted applies only to new construction at the site. Construction is expected to be completed by February, he said.

"The money saved as a result of the tax exemption will enable the company to invest in hiring and training new employees and will permit the company to construct a facility that will permit the company's future growth and expansion," according to the application that the commissioners approved Monday.

And, despite the 10-year, 50 percent abatement on new construction, Leininger estimates the county will benefit from the receipt of between $51,000 and $71,000 in property taxes over the term of the agreement.

"(Yoder's) got a thriving business and he's well-respected in the community as a successful businessman," Leininger said. "I know this is evidence of that, as his business continues to grow.

"I'm glad they reached out to us and we're glad to be able to help and play a small role in his continued growth."

Over the years, the enterprise zone program has continued to grow and contribute to the economic growth of the county, according to the commissioners.

"The public is getting to know it's available. It's good for the economy all around. It's an investment in business, it brings in new jobs and tax dollars," said Commissioner Rob Ault, noting without the benefits of the program "some people may not be able to do this."



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