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December 15, 2017

11/17/2017 10:57:00 AM
City council oks Pepsi agreement
Daily News

Robinson city officials have put out the welcome mat for Pepsi.

Robinson City Council Tuesday approved a supplemental resolution in support of the Pepsi Mid America project, the next step toward bringing a distribution center to the Ridgeway Industrial Park south of Hershey. Work on the facility could begin in April if the company agrees to the plan.

Mayor Roger Pethtel informed the council that the agreement was similar to the proposal Pepsi sent to the council and other city officials last month, but included items discussed and approved by the council during a special meeting two weeks ago. This includes payment for needed infrastructure - such as water, gas, electricity, sanitary sewer and fiber optic lines - through city funds.

The city also previously offered the company five years tax abatement on the property tax and five years in the Robinson Enterprise Zone. After discussion during the meeting, aldermen agreed to change that to six years, a change given approval by the full council Tuesday.

City Treasurer Denise Jobe read to the council the portion of the agreement regarding use of the city's TIF funding.

"A redevelopment agreement will be established for the duration of the TIF district, which ends May 23, 2023, to provide property tax abatements on the tax increments on improvements to the real estate," Jobe said.

The city will also pay $100,000 to Pepsi through TIF as part of the agreement. If all goes as planned for the project, 25 new jobs will become available when the center is ready. More could become available down the road if it becomes successful.

The proposal will now be sent to Pepsi for consideration.

In other business, the council approved the purchase of a new controller and modem for Pride Corner on East Main.

The sign announcing city events, birthdays and other items went out and the city has sought bids to replace those items. Jobe said she received two offers for the replacements, the cheapest one being from T-Graphics, Oblong, at the cost of $2,130 total for both.

After a discussion the council agreed to split the payment between general funds and the parks department for $1,065 apiece. Software is also expected to be updated.

City Engineer Jeff Hillard announced changes to a permanent patching order which took place at Heath Toffee Avenue recently. Extra work forced the price of the project to increase.

"The original contract was for $73,081.02, but with the extra work it is now $78,722.17, which will be paid to A.J. Walker Construction," Hillard said. Payment for the project will come from the city's industrial TIF.

Pethtel informed the council that airport authority member John Dappertt sent a letter of resignation in recently. The council accepted Dappertt's resignation and approve the appointment of Robert Quick to the authority, upon the recommendation of Dappertt.

Renewal of a lease between the city and R.P. Lumber was approved by the council Tuesday. City Clerk Sandrea Anderson said the city will pay $1 for the sign, which will take care of the lease for another two years.

The council also approved a truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 12 at 6:45 p.m. upon the recommendation of Jobe.

The annual employee Christmas luncheon was approved for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Costs are not to exceed $700. Christmas gifts for 35 full-time employees and 12 part-time employees were also approved at a cost of $6,150.

A new addition to the Robinson Police Department will begin his tenure this Friday. Chief Chad Weaver announced that K-9 Officer Nathaniel Nickhlaus and his partner, Dex, finished their training Tuesday and will be reporting for full-time duty Friday.

The council also approved Weaver's request to accept a $1,000 donation from Terry and Shirley Wiseman for that project.

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